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  • University of Sheffield

UK clearinghouse for sustainable aviation fuels officially launches

Photo: The University of Sheffield

The UK sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) clearinghouse has officially launched, marking a major step in enabling the U.K. to bring new fuels to market and help reduce carbon emissions from the aviation industry.

 


Led by the Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield, and supported by engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo plc, the U.K. SAF clearinghouse is now accepting applications from fuel producers for technical support and funding towards the development, testing and qualification of SAF. 

 


Any new aviation fuel must meet strict performance standards before it can be qualified as safe for use in aircraft.

 


To achieve this, fuel must undergo stages of testing in accordance with industry-recognized standards.

 


The cost and complexity of testing can be a significant barrier to new fuels entering the market.

 

Photo: The University of Sheffield

The U.K. SAF clearinghouse will provide advice to fuel producers on testing, signpost towards testing facilities and support the qualification of SAF to help overcome this barrier.

 


The U.K. SAF clearinghouse provides support for the development, testing, qualification and production of SAF, and it will play a key role in the government’s ambition to build a thriving U.K. SAF production industry. 

 


“It is great to see there is now a lot of activity in the development of SAF, however the increase in a diverse range of raw materials and processes means a major shift in the industry, which is both an opportunity to reduce aviation emissions and presents a challenge to get these increasingly diverse SAF products to market,” said Chris Lewis, the clearinghouse director and professor with the University of Sheffield. “The U.K. SAF clearinghouse, in cooperation with the EU and US clearinghouses, will provide technical advice and information, funding to support with testing, and help in understanding how the industry works, as well as helping producers engage with the industry in a positive way. We are delighted to announce we are open for business, so please do come and talk to us.” 

 


Natasha Robinson, the deputy director of low-carbon fuels with the U.K.’s transportation department, said, “The U.K. wants to be an international leader in the transition to SAF, which is a crucial element of the U.K. aviation industry’s decarbonization ambitions. The U.K. SAF clearinghouse will accelerate the testing of fuels by streamlining the process in order to help companies get the qualification for use they need. The U.K. SAF clearinghouse will reduce the bottleneck in testing, ensuring a greater availability of SAF from a diverse range of feedstocks, which will enable the U.K. to achieve its target of 10 percent SAF by 2030 and will also help with creation of new jobs and skills in this innovative green sector.”      

 


Anthony Browne, the minister for aviation and decarbonization of transport, added, “As the U.K. SAF industry goes from strength to strength, it’s important it also has the capabilities to test the fuel being made, making the transition from the labs to the sky faster and easier than ever before. Funded by the U.K. government, the SAF clearinghouse at the University of Sheffield is making greener flying a global reality, accelerating crucial testing, removing barriers for overseas investment and keeping the U.K. at the center of the global SAF industry.”

 


Sujith Kollamthodi, Ricardo’s director of policy, strategy and economics, said, “The new U.K. SAF clearinghouse is a step in the right direction towards a leaner and greener aviation sector in the U.K. It joins other U.K. government initiatives for the sector alongside the Advanced Fuels Fund, plans for a revenue-certainty scheme for SAF and backing for the world’s first transatlantic flight using 100 percent SAF. We are proud that Ricardo experts are applying their renowned expertise in policy, strategy and the safe implementation of new sustainable technologies to this world-leading initiative that can accelerate the decarbonization of the global aviation industry.”

 


For key clients including fuel producers, aerospace original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), airlines and airports, the U.K. SAF clearinghouse is a free-at-the-point-of-use service that will support fuel producers. It will work in collaboration with other international clearinghouses and coordinate a program of fuel qualification with the support of OEMs. 

 


Now officially open to applications, the U.K. SAF clearinghouse is calling for any stakeholders—primarily fuel producers—to reach out with inquiries related to the development, testing and qualification of sustainable aviation fuels.

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