Waste to Sustainable Aviation Fuel: How to Recover Refused Carbon and Hydrogen

Rispoli, Giacomo (NEXTCHEM) | Borgogna, Alessia (NEXTCHEM)


Abstract Aviation is one of the sectors, within the transport industry, in respect of which engine electrification is more challenging to be applied. Therefore, it is crucial to develop and widen processes for production of aviation fuel starting from renewable sources. The "Waste to Sustainable Aviation Fuel" process fits this aim perfectly. The peculiarity and novelty of this process is the link between two worlds which usually work apart: the waste conversion sector and the petrochemical/chemical one. In this regard, the waste-to-chemical process is generally composed of different sections: high temperature gasification; syngas cleaning and cleaning; syngas purification; syngas conditioning; and final synthesis. The first section is the core of the process since it is a very flexible technology able to convert unsorted and/or non-recyclable waste into syngas, as well as demolition wood or other residual biomasses. Final synthesis can then follow two different paths: - methanol or ethanol; from both, SAF can be produced. Levelized of costs of methanol and ethanol coming from proposed process are highly competitive, thus leading to a competitive final SAF cost of production. SAF produced from methanol or ethanol coming from the proposed process are eligible for renewable content introduction in aviation sector, according to ReFuelEU directive which is under definition. Following mass balance approach, a fraction deriving from fossil carbon of waste is defined as Recycle Carbon Aviation Fuel, the other coming from biogenic carbon contained in residual materials - not food or feed related - is considered Advanced biofuel. The flexibility on feedstock related to the proposed technology allows to follow markets trends in relation to waste gate fee, residual biomasses cost, and relative market surplus recognized for advanced fraction.

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