Directional joins new SAF partnership backed by blockchain


Directional Aviation, Alder Fuels, 4Air and Flexjet have partnered to launch a new type of next-generation Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), backed by blockchain technology to prove its carbon-reducing credentials.

Private aviation investment firm, Directional Aviation revealed an undisclosed financial investment in SAF producer, Alder Fuels yesterday (September 15th). The investment will enable Alder to scale up production of second-generation SAF and supply it to Flexjet and other private aviation operators.

Kenn Ricci, principal, Directional Aviation said: “Our investment in Alder Fuels and partnership on advancing the use of digital technology to document SAF use is an example of private aviation leading the way on sustainability commitments and identifying solutions to reduce carbon emissions that aid the entire aviation industry.”

The new renewable fuel, Alder Fuels’ Alder Greencrude (AGC) SAF, uses sustainable biomass such as regenerative grasses, forest residues and agricultural waste products rather than using fats, oils and grease.

According to Alder Fuels, AGC reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared with petroleum jet fuel and can be converted into SAF using existing bio and petroleum refinery infrastructure.

Fractional ownership operator, Flexjet will become its first business aviation user and has committed to sourcing 12% of its annual fuel consumption from SAF by 2030.

Flexjet CEO, Michael Silvestro said that over the past two years, the company has achieved carbon-neutral flight operations through offsetting initiatives. “However, we have wanted to take the next step, not merely offsetting emissions but actually reducing them directly in our operations by taking tangible steps today,” he said.

Flexjet will also pilot the blockchain transparency tool. “The use of SAF produced with Alder’s cutting edge Greencrude will help us achieve this goal and the transparency tool developed by Alder Fuels and 4Air  will serve as a real-world proof of concept,” added Silvestro.

4Air and Alder Fuels will collaborate on the deployment of the blockchain-powered tool to track the use of SAF from source to wing tank. It will provide transparency about the production of SAF and document its compliance with regulatory programmes, environment, social and governance (ESG) targets and carbon reduction milestones for business aviation. 

Kennedy Ricci, president, 4Air said: “The use of blockchain technology to transparently and permanently record the use of sustainable aviation fuel is an innovative application that will help users with regulatory and voluntary compliance and provide greater transparency about SAF’s benefits as a way to reduce climate-changing aircraft carbon emissions.”

The need for industry-wide adoption of SAF has become increasingly evident. Earlier this year, the US government launched the ‘SAF Grand Challenge’ setting US SAF production goals of 3bn gallons by 2030 and 35bn gallons by 2050.

The recent Inflation Reduction Act also supports this. The US government will provide tax credits for every gallon of SAF produced that demonstrates a 50% or greater lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction relative to petroleum jet fuel. 

The process for AGC has been validated by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Laboratory (NREL), with Alder claiming the fuel  has the potential to be carbon negative when utilising regenerative crops.  The blockchain technology tool is designed to verify sustainability claims for the new fuel and to help users qualify for tax credits from the US government.

According to Alder Fuels, AGC SAF meets current aviation specifications and is in the process of globally certifying as a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel.

Bryan Sherbacow, CEO and president, Alder Fuels said: “As we make the transition from fossil to sustainable energy throughout our economy, transparency is critical.  It is how we engender trust and integrity to strengthen the adoption curve – and that is exactly what we are working towards.”