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SAF Development and ASTM D1655 Standards in India



  Apr 27, 2024

SAF Development and ASTM D1655 Standards in India



What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a bio-jet fuel produced from renewable resources such as cooking oil and seeds of oil-bearing plants. It aims to reduce emissions from aviation, contributing to global efforts to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Which Indian institution leads the SAF development?

The Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), spearheads SAF development and testing in India.

What is the significance of international certification for SAF?

International certification, such as the ASTM D4054 qualification from ASTM International, enables SAF to be used in commercial aviation globally. This certification verifies that SAF meets international safety and performance standards.

Who are the key collaborators in SAF development in India?

CSIR-IIP has partnered with major aviation entities including Boeing, and Indian airlines such as Indigo, Spicejet, and the three Tata Airlines—Air India, Vistara, and Air Asia India, to facilitate SAF production.

What progress has been made toward SAF use in India?

The Indian Air Force has received provisional certification to use SAF in test flights. Full international certification for commercial use is anticipated within the year after comprehensive testing and approval processes.

What are India’s production capabilities for SAF?

A pilot plant managed by CSIR-IIP in Dehradun has already produced 10,000 liters of SAF for the Indian Air Force. Plans are in place to scale up production, with the first commercial-scale facility projected to be operational by early 2025 at Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, aiming to produce 20 tonnes of SAF daily.

What challenges exist in scaling SAF production in India?

Significant challenges include the lack of robust mechanisms for segregating, collecting, and supplying SAF-appropriate raw materials, and high export prices of domestic feedstocks like used cooking oil and animal fat, which limit their local availability.

What policy measures are being considered to support SAF adoption in India?

The Indian government is exploring legal mandates for jet fuel blending and other incentives to promote SAF, similar to the U.S. Sustainable Skies Act. A Bio-Aviation Turbine Fuel Program Committee has also been established to aid clean jet fuel production.

What potential does SAF have for climate change mitigation in aviation?

SAF significantly reduces sulfur content and other pollutants compared to conventional jet fuels. Mandated blending of SAF with conventional jet fuel could dramatically reduce aviation's carbon footprint over time.

What is ASTM D1655 and how does it relate to SAF?

ASTM D1655 is the standard specification for aviation turbine fuels that outlines quality requirements for jet fuels used in commercial and military aircraft. SAF must meet these standards to ensure compatibility with aircraft engines and safety during flight.

How is SAF certified under ASTM D1655?

SAF undergoes rigorous testing to verify its composition and performance characteristics meet ASTM D1655 standards. Successful testing results in certification, allowing SAF to be used interchangeably with conventional jet fuel.

What role does ASTM play in the global adoption of SAF?

ASTM International facilitates the integration of SAF into the global aviation fuel supply by setting universally accepted standards. This standardization is crucial for ensuring that SAF contributes to emission reductions while maintaining the highest safety standards in air travel.

These FAQs provide a detailed overview of Sustainable Aviation Fuel's development, challenges, and the strategic frameworks supporting its adoption in India, alongside the critical role of ASTM D1655 standards in ensuring the safe and effective use of SAF in aviation.


 

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