NGO atmosfair and its partners have opened the world’s first production plant for CO2-neutral e-kerosene, which is currently in the process of being certified. The facility, which is located in the northern German town of Werlte, combines CO2 collected from the atmosphere and from a biogas plant that uses food waste, as well as power generated by wind and solar energy systems, to make environmentally friendly hydrogen. The plant is expected to generate eight barrels of crude paraffin per day by 2022 under normal operating conditions, which will be processed into synthetic Jet A1 fuel for airplanes and delivered to Hamburg Airport.
“No one wants to give up their childhood fantasy of flying,” says the author. That is why we require kerosene that is environmentally friendly. “This initiative demonstrates that the technology is accessible and that it is effective,” said Svenja Schulze, the German environment minister, at the project’s opening. She went on to say that classic airplanes are a long-term investment that might remain in service for up to 30 years, which means that new types of fuels to power the existing fleet must be introduced immediately.
Because biomass-based fuels have already reached their maximum capacity, she believes that only green hydrogen can provide a solution. In a video greeting, German chancellor Angela Merkel praised atmosfair’s pioneering attitude, which she said was contributing to the country’s position as a global leader in the energy transition.
Atmosfair is a non-profit organization that creates and runs climate protection initiatives, provides decarbonisation guidance to businesses, and sells CO2 emission offsets from projects in developing countries. Airbus will provide the e-kerosene to its pilot client, the Lufthansa Group, which will use the synthetic fuel to supplement its existing fuel supply. The initiative is entirely self-financed, with no assistance from the government.
In Germany, the goal is to have 0.5 percent e-kerosene by 2026 and two percent by 2030, with the latter being the ultimate goal. Minister Schulze stated that this established a “sales guarantee” for power-to-x fuels and would facilitate in the scaling up of the industry in general.