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China developing sustainable aviation fuel, to be available for commercial use soon

Beijing: A Chinese enterprise, Junheng Biology, located in Henan Province, has achieved a milestone in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development, set to be commercially available soon, reported Xinua.

This represents a significant leap forward for China in the mass production of SAF, as reported by local news daily.

After a five-year research and development period, Junheng Biology successfully converted kitchen waste oils into biodiesel and SAF using its proprietary green and low-carbon biofuel technology, according to Zhang Zhenhui, the executive director of the enterprise. SAF, a blend of bio-manufactured green jet fuel and traditional fuel, has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% over its life cycle, offering a promising alternative for sustainable aviation energy.

Junheng Biology has become China’s first private enterprise to obtain SAF airworthiness approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), highlighting its crucial role in ensuring future SAF supply and setting a benchmark for other private enterprises contributing to the green development goals of the civil aviation sector.

The enterprise’s contributions extend beyond SAF, as it led to the development of high acid-resistant and water-resistant catalysts, along with waste animal and vegetable oil hydrotreating technology. These products were exported to the European Union, generating an operating income exceeding 2.2 billion yuan (approximately 300 million U.S. dollars) in 2023.

Recognizing the growing demand for aviation fuel amid the rapid development of the civil aviation industry, the CAAC has identified SAF as a key focus for medium and long-term energy-saving and emission reduction, aligning with global efforts towards green development.

The International Air Transport Association predicts that 65% of carbon reduction in the aviation sector by 2050 will be achieved through the use of SAF, making technological breakthroughs in SAF a critical pathway for the low-carbon transformation of the global aviation sector. Many oil enterprises worldwide are investing in SAF projects, underscoring its importance in the energy supply business. In April 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Honeywell and China’s Tianjin Free Trade Zone to establish a flagship SAF production base in North China, meeting the growing market demand for SAF.

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