Methanol-to-SAF pathway: TotalEnergies and Masdar’s milestone test flight in Dubai


TotalEnergies and Masdar have successfully conducted a groundbreaking test flight in Dubai, showcasing the potential of converting Methanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This significant development occurred alongside COP28 in the UAE, marking a pivotal step in the journey towards sustainable aviation.

The collaboration involved key industry players, including the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus, Falcon Aviation Services, and technology licensor Axens. This initiative is particularly significant as it explores the conversion of Methanol, which is not currently listed in the specified alcohols for SAF production.

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The Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK) pathway, certified in 2016, meets international standards for jet fuel. The recent test flight, which used a blend of aviation fuel made from olefins, aims to support the certification of this new pathway for SAF production from Methanol.

Innovative Test Flight in Dubai Demonstrates Methanol-to-SAF Conversion by TotalEnergies and Masdar

Innovative Test Flight in Dubai Demonstrates Methanol-to-SAF Conversion by TotalEnergies and Masdar. Photo courtesy of Masdar.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, highlighted the significance of the test flight as an essential step towards a sustainable future in aviation. He emphasized the shared ambition of Masdar and TotalEnergies in advancing SAF development and its potential to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation sector.

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Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, shared his enthusiasm for the project, underlining its importance in complementing current SAF production from used cooking oil and supporting the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

Sustainable aviation fuel, which can be used as a drop-in fuel without the need for modifications to existing infrastructure, aircraft, or engines, is an immediate solution for reducing CO2 emissions in air transportation. The gradual worldwide incorporation of biojet fuel, which produces significantly fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle, combined with the development of eSAF derived from renewable energy, aligns with the industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This test flight in Dubai represents a major stride forward in achieving the goal of a cleaner, more sustainable aviation industry.

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