The use of renewable energy sources is increasingly considered a solution to cutting the greenhouse gas contributions from the aviation sector. Which routes for the production of kerosene-type sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) deliver optimal emissions reductions and energy efficiencies? Researchers from Hamburg University of Technology, Germany, sought to determine this in a comparison of the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and methanol pathways for manufacturing SAFs.

A process modeling and simulation analysis published in Fuel indicates a very high carbon efficiency of 98% to 99% in terms of total liquid products for the FT pathway; the carbon efficiency associated with the production of synthetic kerosene from power-derived syngas is between 60% and 77%. A higher kerosene carbon efficiency of 60% to 90% is determined for the methanol pathway, along with a lower total product efficiency of 74% to 92%.

The FT process is associated with a higher total product energy efficiency of 67% (relative to the 62% determined for the methanol pathway with 62%. However, the latter still shows a higher kerosene energy efficiency of 55% against 49% within the FT pathway.

To contact the author of this article, email