Oxford spinout to build sustainable aviation fuel demonstration plant in Yorkshire

Article by Aniqah Majid

OXCCU's plant will convert green hydrogen and CO2 to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD spinout OXCCU has selected px Group’s Saltend Chemicals Park in East Yorkshire, UK as the site of its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) demonstration plant.

The plant will run on green hydrogen and biogenic CO2, which involves the combustion of biogas collected from waste. It is expected to produce 200 L/d of liquid fuel, with the majority being SAF.

Pioneering a 'novel' process

Carbon-to-value company OXCCU (pronounced Ox.C.C.U.) was one of several winners in window two of the UK government’s £135m (US$170m) Advance Fuels Fund competition, receiving £2.8m in funding.

The company, which began its research into sustainable fuel and chemicals at Oxford in 2010, has pioneered a direct CO2 hydrogenation process that can turn CO2 directly into SAF with minimal oxygenate byproducts.

Andrew Symes, CEO of OXCCU, said: “The strategic combination of OXCCU's highly efficient novel catalyst and process with px Group’s world-leading facilities creates the perfect environment for us to scale up.”

px Group said it will provide the design and construction of the plant’s support facilities and operate and maintain the facility when it is up and running.

The UK's Jet Zero strategy

In its 2022 Jet Zero strategy, the UK government set the goal to achieve net zero emissions in aviation by 2050.

It also announced that it would introduce a SAF mandate from 2025, requiring at least 10% of UK aviation fuel to be from sustainable sources by 2030.

Mark Harper, secretary of state for transport, said: “The final SAF Mandate scheme represents one of the most ambitious frameworks to drive SAF demand in the world, delivering a reduction in UK aviation carbon emissions of 2.7 MtCO2e in 2030 and 6.3 MtCO2e in 2040.”

Supported by the Advanced Fuels Fund, which is funding projects from Esso Petroleum Company and LanzaTech, the government plans to have five commercial SAF plants under construction by 2025.

Article by Aniqah Majid

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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