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ASTM approves ARA’s synthetic kerosene process for the production of sustainable aviation fuel

Fri 31 Jan 2020 – A new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) specification has been approved for commercial airline use by standards development organisation ASTM International, with support from the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). The new annex to the SAF specification D7566 establishes criteria for the production and use of catalytic hydrothermolysis jet fuel (CHJ), a type of synthetic kerosene developed by Applied Research Associates (ARA) in the United States. Developed with Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), ARA’s Biofuels ISOCONVERSION (BIC) process uses catalytic hydrothermolysis to convert any renewable fat, oil and grease feedstock into high yields of drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. The ASTM standard provides that CHJ fuel may be blended at up to 50% by volume with conventional jet fuel. The fuel process represents the sixth approved pathway for the production of SAF.

“The new standard provides another important pathway,” commented Nancy Young, VP Environmental Affairs at Airlines for America (A4A), which co-founded CAAFI in 2006. “The more pathways we have, the more SAF that can be produced and used to sustainably power our planes.

“We commend ASTM International, the US FAA, the airframe and engine manufacturers, the US military, jet fuel producers and our entire CAAFI team for continuing to advance the commercialisation and deployment of SAF to help the aviation industry meet its emissions reduction goals, diversify fuel supply and enhance energy security.

“The development and deployment of SAF is a critical part of the US airline industry’s continuing commitment to reducing our carbon emissions.”

ARA is an employee-owned scientific research and engineering company headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The BIC process is based on ARA’s patented catalytic hydrothermolysis process and CLG’s Hydroprocessing technology.

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