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sustainable aviation fuel prepares for takeoff

3 min read | may 18, 2022

Chevron believes that the future of energy is lower carbon and that Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is part of that future.

Let’s look at a few myths about SAF, followed by the facts.

sustainable aviation fuel
– myths vs. facts

fact: Air travel is currently the fastest mode to transport people and goods over long distances, so reducing aviation’s carbon emissions on a life cycle basis is essential to a lower carbon future. In 2021, Chevron’s El Segundo Refinery became the first refinery in the U.S., and one of the first few refineries in the world, to ratably co-process biofeedstock to make gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel with renewable content and lower carbon intensity. We also announced a letter of intent with Gevo in 2021 to jointly invest in building and operating new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce SAF.
fact: Chevron’s outlook is that SAF is expected to be the favored option for carbon reduction in jet fuel. Rather than being refined from petroleum, SAF is produced from renewable resources such as waste oils. SAF can help reduce carbon emissions up to 80% on a life cycle basis compared to traditional jet fuel. It is also compatible with modern aircraft engines and airport fueling infrastructure. We’ve produced an initial test batch of SAF at our El Segundo Refinery that we estimate to lower emissions by 59% on a life cycle basis.
fact: Despite pandemic setbacks, combined passenger and freight air transport is estimated to grow by 4.3% per year, on average, over the next 20 years. In the near term, air travel will likely remain dependent on liquid fuels. Blending lower carbon SAF with traditional jet fuel will be essential to helping meet the Paris Agreement’s goal to advance actions and investments needed for a lower carbon future. Chevron expects to create the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels per day of renewable fuels by 2030.
fact: Aviation’s carbon emissions are a global issue, and reducing them calls for partnership and collaboration across governments and industries. This includes overcoming SAF development challenges. For SAF to compete with jet fuel, policies and mandates are needed to encourage SAF use. While policy support has not yet stimulated the SAF supply chain, our initial SAF production collaboration with Delta Airlines and Google help prepare us for the future.

Editor's note: The images in this article were updated 7/8/2022

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