RENJET – Renewable Jet Fuel Supply Chain and Flight Operations

The RENJET project accelerates the development of sustainable Bio Fuel supply chains that may account for 20 per cent of jet fuel demand in the European Union in 2025.

The project develops knowledge, practises, procedures and tools, tests and pilots them, towards the overall goal of a self-sustaining networks of regional renewable jet fuel supply chains throughout Europe and beyond.

The activities range from selecting and expanding the supply of available feedstock(s), managing stakeholders and conversion steps, support ASTM certification up to signing offtake agreements for certified Bio Fuel and defining business models taking all stakeholders into account.

A ground-breaking innovation

renjet1History has proven transport is part of our lives: business, leisure and goods. But it also enables us to explore other cultures, art, ideas and built knowledge and understanding.

Globally, aviation is considered the only transport mode to be the only transport mode to bring people together, to do business or to enjoy ourselves during holdays. It is expected that global air transport will grow around 4 per cent annually.

Today, aviation accounts for more 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Forecasts show it may rise to approximately 3-5 per cent of global CO2 emissions by 2050. The environmental impact of fossil fuel combustion and the insecurity of affordable and stable fuel prices constitute serious risks to a sustainable future in aviation.

Renewable jet fuel is seen by the industry as an essential contribution to their transition. Compared with conventional jet fuel, renewable jet fuel will deliver life-cycle CO2 reductions up to 80 per cent. Today fuel makes up about 30 per cent of an airline’s cost; with the volatility of fuel prices and fierce international competition it is hard for airlines to generate stable profits.

Two series of long-haul Bio Fuel passenger flights have been conducted over theperiod 2013-2014 in conjunction with ITAKA FP7 and other programs. The activities enlarge the visibility and demand for Bio Fuel, which in turn enlarges the demand for feedstock and their supply chains.

This leaves sparse possibilities to invest in renewable jet fuels as these are three to four times as costly. 

Ground-breaking is the approach to overcome this challenge, stakeholders from the triangle and envisioned partners in a supply chain have joined their efforts to move forward together, trying to prevent a well-known phenomenon, the innovation gap: good technical solution … but no timely financial model to concur the market and at the same time secure renewable fuels for aviation as competing industries may offer higher return for a half product.

Societal Impact

renjet2Potentially, the societal impact for Europe and its cities – aside from the climate relevance – is huge and already materialising. Supporting and “fuelling” other initiatives to create a joined movement, building trust of investors to getting a new industry into Europe – with a potential first new facility in Rotterdam already looming, causes mayor investments (the initial investments at least 500 million per plant), employability and profit for organisations in the supply chain.

his project will lay the basis for multiple self-sustaining networks of regional renewable jet fuel supply chains based on sustainable (European) feedstock sources, that can account for 20 per cent of renewable jet fuel demand in the European
Union in 2025.

The project delivers the knowledge for an ecosystem for setting-up a regional jet fuel supply chain and prepares a probable supply chain to be financially supported by mayor investors. To ensure success, the approach is innovative.

It incorporates:

  • industry, academics and policy makers to understand economic, societal and ecological demands;
  • a multi-disciplinary approach to understand “best option” choices in the network of value chain(s) to secure production of bio fuels in a very competitive environment, and;
  • both supply side and demand side activities are pursued simultaneously to speed up the innovation process.

A Corporate Bio Fuel Program has been started in the Netherlands, which already has recruited 17 multi-national corporations and public bodies. Interest for the program is growing and there are plans to start an international Bio Fuel Program.

Two series of long-haul Bio Fuel passenger flights have been conducted over the period 2013-2014 in conjunction with ITAKA FP7 and other programs. The activities enlarge the visibility and demand for Bio Fuel, which in turn enlarges the demand for feedstock and their supply chains.

Climate-KIC and RENJET

Climate KIC supports the processes in the RENJET project and allows its adaptations to secure success. The project will be supported by Climate-KIC until 2017. By then, spinouts should have found their ways and be supported by other investors.

The first tangible spin-off is expected to gather traction in Q4 of 2015, with the implementation of the core supply chain development activities in 2016. The project will then culminate into signing the off-take agreements for ASTM certified Bio Fuel and the initiation of the realisation of the first supply chain.

More information:

Ignaas Caryn