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Frequently Asked Questions about SAF

What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a next generation aviation fuel, made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, in its neat form and over the life cycle, reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use (calculated with established life cycle assessment LCA methodologies, among which EU RED and CORSIA). Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a drop-in fuel as it is compatible with existing aircraft engines and airport infrastructure, requiring no extra investment into these. Prior to use, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is blended with fossil jet fuel and certified to meet ASTM jet fuel specifications. 

What is SAF made of?

Neste's SAF is produced from 100% renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal waste fat. Furthermore we are working on introducing new sustainable and certified feedstocks such as algae oil. Crude palm oil (CPO) is not used for the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

How is SAF made?

Our own NEXBTL™ technology allows the use of almost any waste fat or vegetable oil in the production of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel and other renewable products. Neste can use over 10 different renewable raw materials in its renewable product refineries. 

Where is SAF made and what is the production capacity?

Neste MY SAF is produced in Porvoo Finland and then finally distilled in Europe (Rotterdam) and in North America. It is then blended with fossil jet fuel to meet ASTM requirements for use as aviation fuel, before distribution to airports. Neste currently has an annual production capacity of 100,000 tons of SAF. With the Singapore refinery expansion on the way, and an additional investment into the Rotterdam refinery, we will have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tons of SAF annually by the end of 2023. In addition, SAF is also produced today by other companies in North America/California, and in Europe/France; as well as there being a number of SAF production projects underway - both refinery conversions, and new to industry plants based on the different approved production pathways.

Where do we source our raw materials and is there enough available?

Neste sources wastes and residue raw materials for SAF production from all over the world. Independent reports confirm that there is sufficient feedstocks  to support a significant ramp up in SAF production - for example the WEF Clean Skies for Tomorrow report, based on inputs from airlines, airports, suppliers, producers and NGOs, which confirms 40mt pa of feedstocks today, with potential to increase to up to ca 200mt pa. In addition, there are significant agricultural, forestry, industrial and municipal waste feedstocks for the alcohol to jet and gasification/Fischer Tropsch production methods, as well as finally the potential in the 2030s for direct air capture of carbon combined with Hydrogen from water to produce so-called Power to Liquid or e-SAF.

How does Neste’s R&D and Innovation roadmap look like for SAF?

Neste is innovating to bring new SAF production pathways to life. We are focusing on the following promising new feedstocks: lignocellulosic raw materials, MSW (Municipal Solid Waste), algae, and PTL (power to liquid fuels). 

How is SAF used?

It can be used as a drop-in fuel with existing aircraft engines and airport infrastructure, requiring no extra investment. Prior to use, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is blended with fossil jet fuel and is  certified to meet ASTM jet fuel specifications.

What are the effects of SAF?

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, in its neat form and over the life cycle, reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use (calculated with established life cycle assessment LCA methodologies, among which EU RED and CORSIA).

In addition SAF has lower particulate emissions and generates less contrails than fossil jet fuel. This has been confirmed by recent reports from EASA which state that fossil jet fuel has approximately 3 times the climate change effect of just the carbon emissions; SAF, by contrast, because of the lower particulate emissions, has significantly lower non CO2 effects - so in effect SAF is more beneficial than just the approx 80% carbon reduction.

How much SAF can Neste produce?

Neste’s current MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel production capacity is 100,000 tons (approximately 34 million gallons) annually. With the investment projects at Neste’s Singapore and Rotterdam refineries, Neste will have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tons (515 million gallons) of SAF annually by the end of 2023. Neste is actively working to grow the availability of SAF for the aviation industry globally. The fuel is already available, used in the market and supplied to various commercial airlines, business aviation customers and at various airports in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.