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Fuji Dream Air flight fueled with SAF made from algae, used cooking oil

Photo: Embraer

Fuji Dream Air charter flight FDA8100 on March 16 was no ordinary one-hour hop from Shizuoka to Nagoya Komaki Airport in Japan. The tea-green E175 flew using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for the airline’s first time.

Fuji Dream Air has partnered with Euglena, a Tokyo-based company that pioneered the outdoor mass cultivation technology for the microalgae Euglena.

SUSTEO is a kind of SAF, which is produced mainly from used cooking oil (UCO) and Euglena. SUSTEO emits CO2 at the combustion stage same as fossil fuels, but both Euglena and plants (origin of UCO) absorb CO2 by photosynthesis during the growing stage, so it can help achieve a carbon-neutral state—essentially net-zero CO2 emissions at the time used.

The ground vehicle that fueled the E175 for the historic flight was, itself, powered by renewable diesel produced by Euglena. Suzuyo Shoji Co. Ltd has a long history of developing energy-saving initiatives, including reduction programs at schools. It’s why several science and technology high-school students were among the 77 passengers on board the flight, as well as guests from governments and airports.

Finding scalable biomass is one bottleneck for ramping up production of SAF—on a global scale. Using microalgae may be a very good local solution. In fact, SUSTEO’s SAF is certified by ASTM International in D7566 Annex 6.

“One day, SUSTEO SAF produced by Euglena could really take off, all around the world,” Embraer stated.


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