Sustainable Aviation Fuel

LGF will produce advanced second-generation SAF with 80% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional fossil-derived jet fuel*. Using non-recyclable waste and waste biomass as the feedstock, rather than crops or used cooking oil, has many advantages including avoiding landfill and plentiful supply.

With access to carbon capture and storage technology to permanently store the majority of carbon emissions from the production processes, we can prevent carbon from entering the atmosphere and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This means producing a negative-emission fuel. In other words, more carbon will be avoided or removed from the atmosphere than released.

LGF has the potential to save up to 750,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. This is equivalent to removing 350,000 petrol cars from UK roads for each year that LGF is operational. SAF is much better for the environment than conventional jet fuels, such as those based on kerosene produced from fossil fuels.

It not only produces less of the harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emissions when burned in jet engines, but also reduces contrails which themselves also have a greenhouse effect. Additionally, synthetic kerosene found in SAF has a chemical composition of lower toxicity when compared with conventional kerosene. Production routes for advanced SAF also create the potential to unlock new feedstocks to produce the fuel, which could lead to further environmental benefits in the future.

*Currently, blends of up to 50% SAF are permitted.

Energy security

Recent world events have highlighted the importance of domestic energy security in an increasingly uncertain and interconnected global economy. While one aspect of this involves diversifying the UK energy mix, another important aspect will be the provision of homegrown fuel for the UK aviation industry. LGF is the most advanced project of its kind in terms of development, and it will have the largest SAF production capacity of any project in Europe, meaning the project will be vital in delivering UK energy security in the future. The government commitment to a comprehensive SAF subsidy programme will help incentivise and support the UK domestic SAF industry and projects like LGF.

Jet Zero

The UK government has committed to decarbonising the UK aviation industry by 2050, when it is intended that the UK will be a carbon-neutral country. As part of this, the government announced a strategy for the aviation industry in 2022, known as the Jet Zero Strategy.

The government has committed to at least five SAF production plants being under construction by 2025 and for SAF to represent 10% of the UK aviation fuel mix by 2030. LGF represents one of the five identified SAF plants and is the most advanced project of the five in terms of development. LGF was awarded funding from the Department for Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) and Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competitions in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Aviation is frequently described as a ‘hard to decarbonise industry’. It currently depends heavily on energy-dense, climate-polluting fossil fuels. The sector contributed to around 12% of UK transport-related emissions in 2020 (Transport and environment statistics 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) and aviation has the potential to become the largest global CO2 emitter, with passenger numbers predicted to grow from a pre-pandemic 4 billion in 2018 to 16 billion by 2050 (source: International Air Transport Association (iata.org)).

The challenge is to meet Net Zero with four times as many aviation passengers.

The solution is SAF – the Jet Fuel for Net Zero.