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Scrutinising the future role of alternative fuels in delivering aviation decarbonisation

16th November, 2023

AEF recently commissioned a major new report from alternative fuel experts, Cerulogy: ‘Scrutinising the future role of alternative fuels in delivering aviation decarbonisation’. 

The report reviews key issues relating to alternative aviation fuels. Part 1 reviews issues in lifecycle analysis, part 2 reviews issues relating to the use of waste and by-product materials as feedstock, and part 3 looks at the role of alternative fuels in the pathway to decarbonisation of aviation by 2050. The summary report briefly reviews each of these in turn, and concludes with some implications for alternative aviation fuel policy. 

Commenting on the report’s use of the term ‘alternative aviation fuel’ over the term ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF) which is more widely used by the aviation industry and policymakers, lead author Chris Malins explains “We have made this choice of terminology because sustainability is an aspect of a fuel production system that must be assessed, and because there is no single universally accepted metric to identify when a fuel can be considered fully sustainable. To say that a batch of fuel is produced in a way that meets the criteria of some specific sustainability standard, which may not cover all aspects of sustainability, is not the same as to say that the production of that type of fuel is actually sustainable across the fullest range of sustainability concerns.”