Recent Norwegian study sees local potential for sustainable jet-fuel production from forest biomass
A report commissioned by Norwegian airport operator Avinor, along with airlines SAS and Norwegian, and the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, concludes that cost-competitive, large-scale production of sustainable aviation biofuels could be viable in the country between 2020 and 2025.
Most promising routes by 2025 are considered to be Fischer-Tropsch (FT) thermochemical processing and gasification of forest biomass, and the refining of bio-alcohols to Jet A-1 fuel (ATJ). According to the report, the processing of the harvesting potential from logging residues could yield 230 million liters of renewable jet fuel, an amount quite in line with the one required to meet the 10 to 15% GHG emissions reduction target of the Norwegian aviation industry by 2025.
According to independent consultancy Rambøll , the price of FT-based Jet A-1 can be competitive with conventional Jet A-1 by 2025, provided there is crucial sales income from biodiesel and bionaphtha byproducts. ATJ, yet to be certified from commercial aviation use, is seen as a more expensive fuel with a higher level of uncertainty due to the limited available data about the process.
Life-cycle assessments have been calculated on both processes and results conclude with an 81% emission reduction with FT fuels, compared to a 65% reduction from ATJ fuels.
Avinor said it was prepared to invest up to NOK 100 million ($17m) over a 10-year period into various projects and studies to help realize biofuel production. It has just signed a Letter of Intent with Viken Skog, a cooperative of Norwegian forest owners, to invest in an innovation center that is tasked with looking into biofuel production opportunities.
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Access to Avinor's report