The effective application of low carbon technologies, such as electric and hydrogen propulsion are unlikely to be in widespread use until 2040 or later. This means that Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) provides the only viable way to reduce aviation emissions significantly in the short to medium-term.

SAF can be made from renewable sources such as used cooking oil, municipal waste and woody biomass. It is a safe, proven fuel, which has the potential to reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 80%, compared with conventional aviation fuel.SAF is also a drop-in fuel, which can be blended in a ratio of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel for use in aircraft operating today.2

First used by the industry in 2008, SAF has powered over 250,000 flights around the world.3 However, volumes currently remain low, with SAF accounting for less than 0.01% of the aviation fuel market.4

This is due to a range of factors, including high production costs and the fact that SAF technology is still in its infancy. As a result, investment in new SAF production capacity remains limited. Stronger demand signals are needed if production volume is to be increased.

Shell Aviation is working with a range of partners to supply increasing amounts of SAF from current production technologies today. We are also exploring a number of new technology pathways for SAF production.

Some of our collaborations include:

Amazon Air

Working with World Energy, Shell Aviation secured an agreement to supply up to six million gallons of SAF to Amazon Air in July 2020.

World Energy

Shell Aviation and World Energy are working together to develop a scalable supply of SAF in the United States. This includes an agreement to supply SAF to Lufthansa at San Francisco Airport.

Neste

In October 2020 Shell Aviation signed a collaboration agreement with SAF producer Neste that aims to significantly increase availability and supply for the aviation industry.

SkyNRG

In 2018 Shell Aviation signed a long-term strategic collaboration with SkyNRG to promote and develop the use of SAF in aviation supply chains.

Red Rock

In October 2020 Shell Aviation signed a deal to distribute SAF to airline customers from Red Rock’s new plant, currently under construction in Lakeview, Oregon.

Rolls-Royce

Shell Aviation is working alongside World Energy and SkyNRG to supply SAF to Rolls-Royce for the first engine ground tests to use 100% SAF.

Further evidence of Shell’s collaborative spirit and commitment to increase SAF supply can be seen in its membership of the UK government's Jet Zero Council and the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition.

Flight path

Navigating the pathway to sustainable aviation

The aviation industry is on its way to returning to the skies, and part of that return must include reducing its contribution to climate change. The current options are limited and complex, but with urgent action and collaboration from multiple stakeholders and consumer demand for sustainable aviation still strong, significant reductions in aviation emissions are possible.

Synthetic kerosene

Decarbonisation is one of the biggest challenges faced by aviation, and the pathway to net-zero emissions will take innovation, collaboration and legislation. Find out how Shell is continually working with its industry partners to significantly scale sustainable aviation fuel.

Read more about synthetic kerosene

More in Aviation

More time flying

Time is money. That’s the reason we are obsessed with finding ways to enable our customers to spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.

Access to experts

A fast-moving sector like aviation regularly faces new challenges. Shell Aviation has a range of experts ready to provide solutions.

Peace of mind

It is critical for your business to manage risk, with an uninterrupted supply of the highest quality products at the right price. We have the infrastructure and resources to help.

1 https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/sustainable-aviation-fuels/

2 https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/sustainable-aviation-fuels/

3 https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/sustainable-aviation-fuels/

4 https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/sustainable-aviation-fuels/