Brazil could be the first supplier of sustainable aviation fuel

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Brazil has the potential to become one of the world’s leading players in sustainable aviation fuels known as SAF. The target, agreed together with IATA which represents the airlines, will largely depend on developing and increasing the production of SAFs made from renewable resources such as vegetable oils or waste.

The South American country, one of the largest agricultural producers in the world, is already a world leader in biofuels such as ethanol made from sugarcane or corn and biodiesel made from soybean oil.

While sweeping technological changes are seen as the key to reducing aviation emissions, the industry has primarily focused on fuels that can be used in existing engines, such as plant-based SAFs or waste and synthetic alternatives. Ensuring an adequate supply of SAF, in the face of high costs and low production growth, is the industry’s main challenge in its quest for net-zero emissions. IATA estimates that the use of SAF could account for 65% of the industry’s effort to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, hinted last May that the industry could not meet the emissions target due to an insufficient supply of SAF. Brazilian airline Gol also said it considers supplies from SAF an urgent matter.

Catherine Mills Avatar