Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Lignocellulosic Residues in Brazil through Hydrothermal Liquefaction: Techno-Economic and Environmental Assessments
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEnergies. 2023, 16 (6), . 10.3390/en16062723
Decarbonization of the aviation sector relies on deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at commercial scale. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) has been recognized as a promising technology to help supply the increasing projected SAF demand. High availability of agro-industrial residues, combined with a well-established biorefinery system, makes the sugarcane industry in Brazil a good option for HTL technology deployment. Moreover, challenges regarding the economic feasibility of SAF from HTL could be partially addressed by the RenovaBio policy, a market-driven incentive mechanism of carbon credits implemented in Brazil. This study investigated both the techno-economic and life cycle assessment of SAF production from sugarcane lignocellulosic residues, considering HTL integrated to a first-generation ethanol distillery and a HTL stand-alone facility. The evaluated scenarios showed great climate mitigation potential, reaching a reduction of up to 73–82% when compared to fossil jet fuel. The minimum fuel selling price of SAF at 15.4 USD/GJ indicated potential of economic competitiveness with fossil jet fuel in the best integrated scenario. The economic benefits obtained from carbon credits are not enough to enable feasibility of HTL in the stand-alone scenarios, even with carbon prices projected at 125 USD/tonne CO2-eq avoided.