Sheffield University to host major new sustainable aviation fuels innovation centre

It will act as a ‘clearing house’ with facilities to test, validate and certify new sustainable aviation fuels

Net Hero Podcast

A new hub that will lead research, innovation and commercial testing of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) is to be built by the University of Sheffield.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre (SAF-IC), which is believed will be the first of its kind in Europe, will offer laboratory and testing space and act as a “clearing house” with facilities to test, validate and certify new SAFs.

It will be located at the University of Sheffield Innovation District and help accelerate regulatory approvals of new fuels and give the UK certification capabilities.

Making SAFs a viable commercial option for the aviation sector is estimated to reduce UK emissions by 32% by 2050.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Director of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute and Managing Director for SAF-IC said: “SAF-IC will help the UK to determine the best pathways to net zero aviation and play a crucial role nationally and internationally in delivering truly sustainable flight.

“One of the most unique and critical aspects of SAF-IC is that the centre will be the first of its kind to research fuels which are made without any fossil fuels in the process, including improving understanding of how we can use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to make a negative emissions fuel.

“SAF-IC will enable businesses and academics to drive forward their research and technology at a swift pace thanks to its technical and clearing house abilities, allowing the nation to work in line with the targets set by the Department for Transport for net zero emissions from aviation by 2050.”

The centre is expected to be fully operational by July 2022.