18 May 2024

GreenAir News

Reporting on aviation and the environment

UK SAF Clearing House opens its doors to new aviation fuel producers

The UK government-funded SAF Clearing House, led by the Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield and supported by Ricardo UK, has been officially launched. It will provide advice and support to fuel producers on the development, testing, qualification and production of new fuels entering the aviation market. All new aviation fuels must meet strict performance standards before they can be qualified as safe to use in aircraft and must undergo stages of testing in accordance with industry recognised standards. The cost and complexity of testing can be a significant barrier to new fuels entering the market and to help overcome this, the UK SAF Clearing House will provide advice to producers on testing, guidance on testing facilities and support qualification. It is now accepting applications from producers for technical support and funding.

“It is great to see there is now a lot of activity in the development of SAF,” said Professor Chris Lewis from the University of Sheffield and the new Director of the UK SAF Clearing House. “However, the increase in a diverse range of raw materials and processes means a major shift in the industry, which is both an opportunity to reduce aviation emissions but also a challenge to get these increasingly diverse SAF products to market.

“The UK SAF Clearing House, in cooperation with the EU and US Clearing Houses, will provide technical advice and information, funding to support with testing, and help in understanding how the industry works, as well as helping producers engage with the industry in a positive way. We are delighted to announce we are open for business, so please do come and talk to us.”

The clearing house is receiving £700,000 ($870,000) in government funding, with another £5.35 million earmarked to support costs associated with fuel testing.

“The UK SAF Clearing House will accelerate the testing of fuels by streamlining the process, in order to help companies get the qualification for use they need,” said Natasha Robinson, Deputy Director of Low Carbon Fuels at the UK’s Department for Transport.

“It will reduce the bottleneck in testing, ensuring a greater availability of SAF from a diverse range of feedstocks, which will enable the UK to achieve its target of 10% SAF by 2030 and will also help with the creation of new jobs and skills in this innovative green sector.”

Added Anthony Browne, Minister for Aviation and Decarbonisation of Transport: “As the UK SAF industry goes from strength to strength, it’s important it also has the capabilities to test the fuel being made, making the transition from the labs to the sky faster and easier than ever before.”

Sujith Kollamthodi, Director of Policy, Strategy & Economics at engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo, which is supporting the clearing house, said it would be a free-at-the-point-of-use service to support fuel producers, working in collaboration with other international clearing houses and also coordinate a programme of fuel qualification with the support of aerospace original equipment manufacturers.

The University of Sheffield’s Energy Institute hosts the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre (SAF-IC), which provides state-of-the-art facilities to test, certify and deploy new sustainable aviation fuels. It is a development hub for the research and scaling up of SAF, offering laboratory and testing space as well as coordination and networking facilities.

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