Will it be the Summer of SAF, or of circular feedstocks, or circular chemicals?

May 22, 2023 |

Depending on your newsfeed keywords, you might be confused about the trends for the bioeconomy summer.

If you’ve popped “SAF” into your news mix, the flow of announcements has been so heavy, you may be wondering if SAF is running for President.  Yet, if you’ve been monitoring the circuit of industry events, you might think that feedstocks and chemicals are the hottest topics of the season. Let’s look into it.

On the Event Circuit

If you’re preferring to stay off-road and feedstocks and chemicals are your flavor, good news. On June 5 from 2 PM – 3 PM EDT, Schmidt Futures and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research are hosting a webinar to disseminate the convening’s findings more broadly to reach researchers, other funders, and stakeholders in the enabling environment who will need to work together to move this field forwards. This webinar will also serve as an opportunity to ask questions, contribute perspectives, and learn about the next steps related to this initiative. To join the webinar and receive related communications, please fill out this Zoom Registration Form.

A Digital Conclave of the Worthies

As background, we covered herewith the Convening of the Worthies which FFAR and Schmidt pioneered in March at which the various bishops and cardinals of the Holy Bioeconomy advanced their candidate molecules and substrates., More on that here, and on the meeting here.

Tiny Bubbles from Hawaii

If the broader range of Sustainable Circular Economies is more fitted to your vision, then you’re off to Big Island of Hawaii, lucky you, The BioMADE-sponsored ALAKA’I team is delighted to announce its two conferences for July, 2023 are consolidated into one week (July 17 – 21, 2023), making it easier for attendees to participate in both, and enabling all attendees to learn new perspectives on sustainability from global climate change and sustainability leaders. The Kona “Sustainable Circular Economies: Putting the Pieces Together” conference at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa will be July 17 – 19. The Hilo “Mālama Honua: Indigenous Perspectives in Sustainability” conference at the UH Hilo Hale Ōlelo is moved to July 19 – 21. Details and registration links are at: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/alakai/workshops/2023/

In the US Capital

Need something closer to home, yet featuring the broader approach. The Third Annual AFCC Global Biobased Economy Conference & Exhibition will held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, in Washington D.C., November 12 to 14, 2023.  Call for abstracts, posters, exhibits, workshops and registration, are open now. You can submit a single speaker abstract or a panel in any of the Five Tracks covering sustainable feedstocks, biofuels, renewable chemicals, biobased products, recycling, food ingredients, flavors, and fragrances – these sessions are 90 minutes, and are moderated.  More information can be found via the following link, https://www.altfuelchem.org/2023-afcc-biobased-economy-co

At the Hard News Assignment Desk: SAF rules the waves

If you look beyond the meetings and get down to the hard news flow, it’s still SAF, SAF, SAF, SAF and more SAF.

4AIR, which helps companies offset their emissions, use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), and drive technological change, today announced the launch of Assure SAF Registry, a blockchain-based web registry designed to document, trace and account for the sustainability attributes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The registry is designed for both physical and book and claim supply chains of SAF and will simplify inventory accounting and prevent double-counting of benefits. All while protecting suppliers’ commercially sensitive and confidential data.

But there’s even harder news, if Grape Nuts are your preferred cereal and diamonds your favorite gem. Earlier today,  The team of Praj and Indian Oil Corp.pout together the first commercial passenger flight for AirAsia using an indigenous SAF produced by Praj using captive agricultural feedstock was successfully flown from Pune to New Delhi. Hon. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, received this special flight at the airport. The SAF sourced for this initiative by Praj Industries was made possible through a partnership with Gevo using Gevo’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology to produce SAF using bio-based feedstock. Praj Industries produced SAF samples at its state-of-the-art R&D facility, Praj Matrix, which underwent rigorous testing at IOCL laboratories before being blended for the special flight.

The Bottom Line: what’s hotter, SAF, feedstocks or chemicals?

SAF is the easy answer, but the correct answer in the bonus round is….it’s the summer of feedstocks.  Even SAF is transitioning quickly beyond its plant oil / waste oil foundation. In the Praj/IOC announce, that’s sugarcane ethanol as the source of fuel, this is the alcohol-to-jet pathway. But, we think this is rapidly going to move past sugarcane and towards sugarcane bagasse, the potential for high-value fuel is there because of the low carbon intensity.

Which is to say this: the higher-values are in feedstock, the barriers to supply are in feedstock, the barriers to affordable price are in feedstock. It’s was ethanol ethanol ethanol until it was algae algae algae then it was cellulosic cellulosic cellulosic until it was chemicals chemicals chemicals. After it was vegan vegan vegan until is was diesel diesel diesel, it was SAF SAF SAF, but now we can see that it was the same thing all along. It is the summer of feedstock, and probably will be the decade of feedstock. The sustainable, affordable, reliable, available kind. You can call her Sara, and it is her time.

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