AbstractConverting low-cost wet organic and municipal solid wastes into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) represents an immediate opportunity to help decarbonize the aviation sector. To accelerate the commercialization of waste-to-energy technologies, we identify feasible deployment opportunities in the United States (U.S.) for two emerging SAF pathways including direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) for blended wet organic wastes and gasification with methanol synthesis for municipal solid waste. The impact of fuel credits on plant locations, scales, and performance are investigated by varying the target jet fuel price from a baseline five-year average of USD $1.97 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) to a RIN credit-adjusted target of USD $2.70/GGE. Total feedstock utilization and SAF output are summarized nationally, by state, and by proximity to existing jet fuel storage and major airports. Depending on carbon credit price, between 40–100 sites in the U.S. could produce between 13?21 billion L/y (3?5 billion gal/y) of SAF, representing 15–25% of total annual jet fuel use, thereby reducing the carbon intensity of the aviation sector by up to 10–18%. Identified opportunities can help focus future SAF efforts in geographic regions with abundant low-cost feedstock supply in proximity to jet fuel storage and demand.
Published: October 24, 2023