Air India, Air Asia India and Vistara partner with CSIR-IIP for enhanced use of SAF

Air India, AirAsia India and Vistara (Tata Group Airlines) joined hands with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) on Thursday to collaborate and work together on the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).

Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made from sustainable resources, such as forestry and agricultural waste and used cooking oil and can be blended with fossil jet fuel to reduce emissions. It is a ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning it can be added with no changes needed to the aircraft.

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“The collaboration on Sustainable Aviation Fuels is being coordinated by Tata Sustainability Group (TSG) working closely with the Tata Airline Companies and CSIR-IIP. The Tata Group recently outlined a transformative vision on sustainability which envisages the Group becoming Net Zero by 2045. The Tata group has been ranked as the top.”

A spokesperson said.

CSIR – Indian Institute of Petroleum is located in Dehradun and is dedicated to R&D in the hydrocarbon sector. Its charter is to provide competitive and sustainable technologies and products to meet the requirements of the ever-growing energy sector and develop capacity and capability in new energy areas such as bio, hydrogen and solar energy and their innovative combination.

The TSG serves as a centre of excellence and a nodal resource on sustainability for Tata group companies.

While Indian carriers lag behind their global peers in SAf use, efforts are being made to produce the biofuel locally. In March, SpiceJet and GMR group partnered with Boeing and a clutch of French companies, respectively, to explore the development of SAF.

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In February, IndiGo used a 10% blend of SAF in the delivery flight of its Airbus A320 from France. The armed forces, too, are taking sustainability initiatives. The Indian Air Force plans to operate its AN-32 aircraft with a 10% SAF blend in the next six months. A biofuel plant is also being set up by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited and is expected to be complete by 2024.

While Indian carriers lag behind their global peers in SAf use, efforts are being made to produce the biofuel locally.

According to IATA, the aviation industry’s net-zero carbon emissions target is focused on delivering a maximum reduction in emissions at source, with the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) contributing around 65% of the reduction in emissions, in addition to innovative new propulsion technologies, and other efficiency improvements.

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The impact of the continued use of petroleum-derived fuel for aviation is considerable with greenhouse gas and carbon emissions being of significant concern across the globe. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2050 in line with the objectives of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.