Sunday, October 24, 2021
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US ‘Grand Challenge’ to produce sustainable aviation fuel

The United States government has set a target to produce 35 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel a year by 2050 using American farm products and for-estry waste.

The departments of Agriculture, Transportation and Energy issued the “Grand Challenge” for the production of the sustainable fuel.

The Grand Challenge is a gov-ernment-wide effort to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and expand production and use of SAF to meet 100 per cent of US aviation fuel demand by 2050.

Produced from sustainable or renewable sources, this fuel works with existing infrastructure and can be mixed with petroleum-based fuels.

One main challenge is sustainably producing enough biomass feed-

stock at the right price for conversion to aviation fuel.

Another is ensuring that the carbon and environmental modeling associated with fuel appropriately accounts for conservation practices used on American farms producing feedstock.

To address these challenges, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in research to develop energy cane, short-rotation woody crops, oilseeds and dedicated biomass crops like perennial grasses.

These crops can be used as cover to improve soil quality, as buffer strips to reduce nutrient runoff into watersheds, or as byproducts for animal feed.

Additionally, biomass supply ch-ains and bio-refineries centered around regional feedstocks create jobs in rural communities.

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