A project to transform carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuel has been awarded £2.8 million in government funding.

OXCCU, the University of Sheffield Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC) and Coryton have won the grant.

The capital will be used to demonstrate the world’s first direct carbon dioxide hydrogenation process, turning CO2 directly into aviation fuel range hydrocarbons, also known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The project presents a novel approach to SAF production, directly converting CO2 and hydrogen (H2) to hydrocarbons – essentially creating jet fuel from thin air. 

OXCCU technology means that this traditionally multi-step process has been simplified to just a single step. The reactor will be located at the TERC and fed with biogenic CO2 captured from biomass combustion and H2 produced on-site from electrolysis using green electricity. 

The fuel is then blended via Coryton to produce a fuel of Jet A-1 specification.

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The government has committed to having at least five commercial SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025, viewing low or zero emission technologies as key to sustainability and net zero targets. 

“We’re proud to be part of the UK’s journey to cement itself as a leader in clean aviation and to help scale world-first technologies in sustainable aviation fuel,” said OXCCU CEO Andrew Symes. “This new investment from the AFF will be a welcome contribution to our efforts to help the industry meet the high targets it has set.”

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