The current generation aircraft engines require liquid fuels. These aircraft engines cannot switch to alternative energy sources such as hydrogen or electricity in the short term. SAF is, therefore, the solution to drastically reduce CO2 emissions in aviation. This aviation fuel is known as a ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning that pure SAF can be mixed with fossil kerosene. No further modifications to infrastructure or equipment are required. It is a clean, liquid alternative to fossil kerosene.
Several technologies currently exist to produce SAF. One of these technologies is the synthetic route. As a feedstock, this ‘e-fuel’ uses CO2 from unavoidable industrial processes or the air directly. The CO2 is then converted to SAF through a chemical process in combination with green hydrogen. Synthetic SAF is sustainable in all aspects and does not contribute to further unsustainable practices such as displaced land use and deforestation. This route of producing SAF is also scalable and integral in making aviation more sustainable.
Synkero is a project development start-up. Together with partners Port of Amsterdam, Royal Schiphol Group, SkyNRG and KLM, Synkero will focus on realizing the aforementioned commercial SAF factory in the Port of Amsterdam. The project will seek to connect with sustainable initiatives in the North Sea Canal area, such as the Hermes project.
Joost Brinkman, Managing Director Synkero: ‘To keep the world habitable, it is paramount that aviation also becomes sustainable. However, it is also one of the most challenging sectors to make emission-free. Cooperation, technical innovation, and European policy are all crucial for this. Therefore, we are delighted to have founded Synkero and, in close cooperation with our various partners, to take the next steps towards building a factory for the production of sustainable aviation fuel’.
Quote Koen Overtoom, CEO Port of Amsterdam: ‘Making aviation more sustainable is very important for the region and the Netherlands. A factory in our port that produces SAF in a circular way fits seamlessly with our new four-year strategy to be a leader in the energy transition. This is a great initiative, and we are proud to be part of this great transition.’
Dick Benschop, CEO Royal Schiphol Group: “Worldwide people, business and countries are connected through aviation. To pass on that pleasure to future generations, we need to get rid of the carbon. Our goal is a net zero aviation sector in 2050. To achieve that, the development of sustainable aviation fuels is essential. With Synkero, we are taking the next step.”
Jurrian de Jonge, Director Fuel, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: ‘As a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) user, KLM welcomes initiatives that contribute to the further development of SAF. In 2019, KLM released Fly Responsibly, through which we commit to creating a more sustainable future for aviation. A cornerstone in our approach is to scale up SAF and its use. There are still many challenges in the field of synthetic kerosene, including the technology, the availability of green power, and obtaining CO2 from the air. This is why we have been working for some time with Synkero to help with research, and accelerating developments.