Synthetic aviation fuels – how to get them?

date: 27.07.2022

category: Sporočila za javnost


Researchers from Laboratory for Internal Combustion Engines and Electromobility (LICeM), under the leadership of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, published two holistic papers in Energy Conversion and Management Journal (IF=11.5), covering the area of processes for biojet fuel production.

The first paper presents a critical review of processes for production of biojet fuel from waste oils in food industry. At first it evaluates the legislative framework and analyses existent and future planned systems for collection and tracking of waste oils – sector with large potential for future improvements in Slovenia. In continuation, the paper systematically analyses key processes for conversion of fatty acids, including transesterification, pyrolysis as well as supercritical and electrochemical methods which are additionally evaluated also in relation to downstream processes for improvement of their physical and chemical characteristics. Among these, hydrogenation, deoxygenation and isomerization of fatty accid (methyl) esters were proved as most viable, which was confirmed also by overview of techno-economic indicators.


The second paper then focuses on catalytic conversion processes for production of synthetic aviation fuels in line with ASTM D7566 standard. For the three certified processes; Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis, Hydrotreated esters and fatty acids (HEFA) and Alcohol to Jet (ATJ), a critical analysis of available catalysts and relation to input biomass feedstock was performed. Since the analysed processes are established on high TRL levels, key recommendations of the study pointed towards the most viable synthesis pathways that feature lowest OPEX and highest sustainability.


Combined, results present an important contribution towards consolidation of currently highly diverged research field. At the same time they serve as a key comparative analyses for policy makers and certification institutions.

The two papers were supported by research project ARRS Z2-1862 Zero-footprint combustion for green power generation (leader - assist. prof. Tine Seljak) and bilateral mobility grant ARRS BI-CN/20-22-022 Assessment of Aviation Biofuels in Advanced Combustion Concepts (leader – assist. prof. Tine Seljak).

Link to the first article

Link to the second article




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