So far, only five manufacturing processes exist for the production of sustainable kerosene made from renewable resources on a large scale. The aviation industry, fuel producers and science are therefore jointly pioneering the research on further processes and technologies.

Current manufacturing processes

The production of fuels from renewable resources not only requires excellence in research and development, but also a good infrastructure. There are currently no refineries for the production of alternative jet fuel in Germany. Several technologies would already be feasible today and their implementation would be extremely sensible. Here, there is an urgent need for increased political support in order to build up the necessary production capacity as quickly as possible.

For the production of sustainable fuels based on esters and fatty acids (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids, HEFA), all forms of native fat or oil can be used. In addition to used fats and wastes from the food industry, mainly vegetable oils and fatty acids from the refining process of oils and fats are used.

In a first step, the oils and fats are hydrogenated and then refined similar to fossil fuels. This manufacturing process is already mature and has been approved by the International Standardization Authority ASTM since 2011. HEFA kerosene has been used in thousands of test flights and in regular service.

Numerous analyses on greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental effects of HEFA kerosene are available. HEFA can comply with the EU Renewable Energy Directive under certain conditions.

Today, several refineries worldwide specialize in the production of certified vegetable oil fuels, including kerosene from renewable resources.