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Sustainable aviation fuel is the way forward for aviation industry

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  • 26 Pages
  • December 2023
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5925460
This report provides an overview of the global commercial aviation sector’s decarbonization challenge and the potential role SAFs will play in achieving emission reduction. The report analyses sector challenges, important technological shifts, and key players.

To spur emission reductions from the sector, organizations such as the ICAO and the ITAO have set a target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) have been identified as a key technology for achieving emission reductions.

There are currently 9 pathways for producing SAFs that are certified by the IATA. However, hydrotreatment remains the dominant pathway for the bulk of current SAF production. As SAF production scales, alternative pathways will become more prominent, particularly alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) and power to liquid (PtL) technologies.

Overall SAF production is expected to exceed 6,000mmgy by the end of the decade, increasing at a CAGR of 49.8% between 2018 and 2030.

In response to the industry’s need to decarbonize, an increasing number of countries have announced SAF mandates. The most ambitious targets have been announced by the UK and Japan which are both aiming for a SAF blend of 10% by 2030. However, the US will be the key market both in terms of SAF supply and demand.

Industry players on the fuel production side such as Neste, Gevo, and World Energy will lead in terms of SAF production by 2030. Meanwhile, numerous airlines have adopted the net-zero by 2050 target and are aiming to increase their SAF usage to 10% by 2030.

Key Highlights

  • Aviation represents the largest contributor to growth in per capita emissions and with passenger numbers expected to double, reaching 8 billion by 2050, the sector now needs to urgently address its environmental impact.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also announced its aim of reaching net-zero by 2050. The IATA represents over 300 members and constitutes an estimated 83% of air traffic. It has said that it expects 65% of emission reduction to be met through the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).
  • Demand for feedstocks may outpace supply as SAF production scales, particularly for waste oils where volumes are low and competition with renewable diesel producers could take place.
  • In 2050, CO2 will be the largest feedstock as power to liquid technologies that use captured carbon dioxide reach maturity.
  • According to the current database of active and upcoming projects, synthetic fuel production could reach up to 7,200 ktpa by 2030 as the number of projects reaches 68.
  • The SAF Certificate Registry was launched at COP28, allowing companies to buy credible SAF certificates that represent conventional fuel being displaced.
  • Despite neither the US or Canada having a blending mandate, North America will become the dominant market for SAF supply by 2030, where it will account for 10.8 Mt of annual SAF production. This equates to 39% of global supply.
  • The key oil and gas players within the SAF market will experience a shake up. While China Petrochemical Corp currently stands joint first in terms of current capacity due to its Zhenai Renewable refinery, it will lose this market positioning in 2030 to new market entrants such as Oriental Energy.


  • Carbon footprint of aviation sector
  • Emission reduction potential of SAFs
  • ASTM approved SAF production pathways
  • Emerging SAF production pathways
  • SAF production outlook and key supply and demand markets
  • SAF production capacity by country
  • Oil and gas sector activity within SAFs

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand the key trends and challenges within the SAFs market
  • Identify the key countries and players for SAF production capacity.
  • Develop market insight of current, in development and announced capacity and latest trends of the sector.
  • Understand how the oil and gas sector is engaging with this technology through upcoming capacity as well as alternative datasets such as deals, hiring and company filings trends.

Table of Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Aviation’s contribution to climate change
  • SAF briefing
  • SAF market challenges
  • ASTM approved SAF production pathways
  • SAF production will undergo a technology shift
  • Power to liquid technology will help scale SAFs in the long term
  • Policy Outlook
  • An overview of SAF blending mandates
  • Additional initiatives and policy developments
  • Supply and Demand Outlook
  • SAF production outlook based on active and upcoming projects
  • The largest SAF projects by capacity in 2030
  • Regional SAF supply forecasts
  • Key demand markets
  • SAF Industry players
  • Current and Projected market leaders in SAFs
  • SAFs adoption targets for the airline industry
  • Signals
  • Mentions of SAFs within corporate filings is on the rise
  • A snapshot of SAF deal activity from the oil and gas sector
  • Contact the Publisher
List of Tables
  • An overview of SAF blending mandatess
  • The largest SAF projects by their 2030 capacity
  • SAF adoption targets for the airline industry
List of Figures
  • Percentage contribution to transport emissions in 2030 by type
  • Direct CO2 emissions from aviation in the net-zero scenario, 2000 - 2030
  • SAF market challenges
  • ASTM approved SAF production pathways
  • SAF supply by technology, 2023 and 2030
  • Supply by feedstock, 2020 - 2050
  • Synthetic fuel production and project count, 2018 - 2030
  • SAF production outlook, 2020 - 2030
  • SAF supply by region, 2020 - 2050
  • SAF demand by country, 2020 - 2050
  • Top SAF producers by 2022 capacity
  • Top SAF producers by 2030 capacity
  • SAF mentions by oil and gas companies, 2018 - 2023
  • Top oil and gas players by mentions of SAFs in company filings between 2018 and 2023
  • A snapshot of SAFs deal activity in recent years

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gevo Inc
  • Neste Corp
  • Alfanar Group
  • Oriental Energy Co Ltd
  • Azure Sustainable Fuels Corp
  • World Energy LLC
  • Summit Agricultural Group
  • World Energy LLC
  • BP Plc
  • China Petrochemical Corp
  • Neste Corp
  • Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP
  • EcoCeres Inc
  • The Hong Kong and China Gas Co Ltd
  • Fulcrum Bioenergy Inc
  • Air BP Ltd
  • DG Fuels LLC
  • Indaba Renewable Fuels California LLC
  • Shanxi Construction Investment Group Co Ltd
  • Eni SpA
  • Velocys Plc
  • Darling Ingredients Inc
  • Aemetis Inc
  • Valero Energy Corp
  • Total Energies SE
  • Suncor Energy Inc
  • Praj Industries Ltd.