Airbus, Masdar Sign Agreement To Support Growth of SAF Market

The companies plan to focus on producing sustainable aviation fuel with green hydrogen and captured CO2.

Airbus is working on a number of sustainability projects. [Courtesy: Airbus]

Airbus announced it has entered an agreement with clean-energy company Masdar, also called Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. PJSC, to support the development and growth of the global market for sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.

The agreement identifies areas in which the companies plan to work together, including SAF, green hydrogen, and direct air capture technology that allow for the collection of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The combination of captured CO2 and hydrogen could be used to produce synthetic SAF, the companies said. 

The companies said using SAF based on green hydrogen and direct air capture could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95 percent compared with conventional jet fuel. They also said estimates from market research company Precedence Research indicate the worldwide SAF market will grow to more than $14 billion by 2032. 

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the agreement with Airbus “further amplifies Masdar’s commitment to accelerating the reduction of global carbon emissions and pioneering worldwide efforts towards decarbonization. We look forward to working closely with Airbus to support the development of the global sustainable aviation fuel market and to exploring the adoption of creative low carbon solutions in support of net zero.”

Numerous commercial aviation operators have touted SAF as a readily available means of reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Some have begun using SAF blends in aircraft. The fuel is considered a major part of aviation companies’ net-zero emissions plans.

“Sustainable aviation fuel is one of the best solutions for reducing the aviation sector’s carbon footprint, and this agreement will support in advancing its much-needed development and growth,” said Mikail Houari, president of Airbus Africa and Middle East. “At Airbus, we continue to lead the industry towards a more sustainable future. We are committed to contributing to driving innovation to support the ambition set by IATA, ATAG, and ICAO to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Earlier this year, Masdar also announced an initiative focusing on the use of green hydrogen to produce SAF, working with licensors to certify the fuel’s manufacture from methanol.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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