Carbon Intensity of Sustainable Aviation Fuels
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Project Objective

The goal of this project was to apply life cycle assessment (LCA) methods to evaluate two alternative jet fuel products in terms of their potential to qualify for incentives under the Sustainable Skies Act (SSA). The two products evaluated included (i) a low-carbon jet fuel produced from coal mine methane (CMM) that is captured at abandoned mines and used in a Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquid synthesis process, and (ii) a proprietary technology that produces liquified natural gas (LNG) as a low-carbon jet fuel alternative.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Services

Geosyntec conducted a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-focused LCA to evaluate the carbon intensity of each of the two low-carbon jet fuel products. The LCA model was developed following the framework for sustainable aviation fuels adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The results were benchmarked against the carbon intensity I for conventional petroleum-based jet fuel using Argonne National Laboratory’s greenhouse gases, regulated emissions, and energy use in technologies (GREET) model. Parts of the LCA contributing greater GHGs were identified through sensitivity and scenario analyses, and measures that could be applied to improve the carbon intensity were also identified.

Notable Accomplishments

The LCA results indicated the potential for these low carbon jet fuel products to qualify for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) credits under the SSA. Additionally, Geosyntec developed a Power BI dashboard-based decision-making tool for internal use by CNX; this tool presents carbon intensity values as a function of certain operational parameters including percentage of feedstock blends, distance for feedstock transmission, types of fuel conversion technologies, and types of fuel products. This tool enables CNX to perform its own user-friendly carbon intensity analysis of more than 50 unique alternative feedstock and fuel production pathways.

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Project Summary

  • Location: United States
  • Client: CNX Resources Corporation (CNX)
  • Project Practice Areas: Life Cycle Assessment – GHG
  • Type of Facility: Fuel
  • Services Provided: LCA, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Credits; DOE Engagement; Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Pathway Development; Greenhouse Gases; Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) Model; Power BI Dashboard Tool Development
  • Type of Work: LCA, Carbon Intensity
  • Governing Regulation: Federal