The aviation industry is responsible for 3% of global manmade CO₂ emissions and has the challenging objective to reduce these emissions in the next decade significantly. Unlike road transport, aviation cannot switch to electric or hydrogen propulsion yet and therefore depends on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). SAF purely made from air via direct air capture technology and renewable electricity offers a carbon-neutral solution suitable to meet the industry’s high demands for renewable fuels in the future.
A conference hosted on Feb 8th 2021 by the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen sets a new milestone in the development of Zenid. A consortium consisting of the Rotterdam The Hague Airport (part of Royal Schiphol Group), Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport, global leader for SAF SkyNRG and Swiss direct air capture pioneer Climeworks agreed to further investigate the construction of a demonstration plant producing fully circular SAF with 100% CO₂ derived from the air. This is based on the positive outcome of a feasibility study for such a plant that was conducted earlier.
The demonstration plant will be powered by regionally sourced renewable energy and combines several innovative technologies: a direct air capture plant provides CO₂ to a highly efficient co-electrolysis unit, that turns the CO₂ and added water into syngas. The syngas is transformed into liquid hydrocarbons by a modular Fischer-Tropsch reactor and then refined into sustainable aviation fuel.