Launching of Europe’s First of its Kind Alcohol-to-Jet Production Plant

Netherlands-based SkyNRG with LanzaTech as the technology provider, has announced it is leading a consortium that will build the first-of-its-kind “LanzaJet” Alcohol to Jet (AtJ) facility in Europe. The 30 000 tonnes-per-annum pre-commercial scale facility will convert waste-based ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). LanzaTech will supply its ATJ technology to the facility and be responsible for plant design, construction and operations. SkyNRG will act as project coordinator and manage downstream supply chain development.

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Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is critical to reducing emissions from the aviation sector in the coming decades. Ambitious targets are proposed as part of the European Green Deal ‘Sustainable and smart mobility’ policy and the new legislative initiative ‘EU ReFuelEU Aviation’. To meet these targets in the years to come, it is essential that we diversify feedstock and technology options for SAF production. This pre-commercial AtJ production plant will pave the way to implementing SAF production across Europe and around the globe, producing commercially relevant quantities of SAF to support future aviation’s climate targets.

With the increasing demand for SAF in the future, there is a need to diversify SAF technologies and feedstock. This first of its kind of Alcohol-to Jet production in Europe will be an important step in the direction of making sustainable aviation fuel more accessible and scalable, supporting net-zero emission ambitions for the aviation industry. SkyNRG is excited to be a part of the FLITE project, said Maarten van Dijk, Managing Director SkyNRG.

The project is being developed by the FLITE (fuel via low carbon integrated technology from ethanol) consortium, which kicked off in December 2020 and has been awarded a €20 million grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. A specific location for the plant has not been released. Consortium partners, however, have indicated that the FLITE ATJ facility is scheduled to be fully operational in 2024.

“Bending the carbon curve requires collaboration and strong partnerships, something the FLITE Consortium exemplifies! We look forward to implementing LanzaJet Alcohol-to-Jet technology in Europe. This is an important enabler to expanding the production of sustainable aviation fuel and creating a path to a lower-carbon future. We are grateful for the Horizon 2020 funding which has made this project possible, said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.”

Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest applied research organization, will oversee and distribute communications about the project; energy and sustainability strategy consultancy E4tech, will conduct the life cycle assessment; and the world’s most trusted, valued, and peer-reviewed standard for the bio-based economy, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), will support the project through guidance on RSB certification of the facility.

Looking to accelerate local economic development in innovation, energy security, and job creation, the FLITE project, will produce more than just fuel. The FLITE AtJ facility will be fully operational in 2024, producing SAF using waste-based ethanol sourced from multiple European producers.

In addition, it will produce SAF which will result in a significant carbon emission reduction relative to fossil kerosene and will also reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM) and sulphur. As such the SAF will be certified through the robust standards of RSB.

This project addresses two key challenges faced by the aviation sector today – rapid decarbonisation and doing so in a sustainable manner. It aims to scale the production of SAF in Europe and ensure it meets the most stringent sustainability standards. The RSB is proud to support partners to demonstrate sustainability performance and meet regional and global regulatory requirements of EU RED and CORSIA, said Rolf Hogan, Executive Director, RSB.