On March 16th, 2022, a Fuji Dream Air (FDA) charter flight FDA8100 made the one-hour hop from Shizuoka to Nagoya Komaki Airport using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for the first time. FDA partnered with Euglena, a Tokyo-based company that pioneered the outdoor mass cultivation technology for the microalgae Euglena.
SUSTEO is a kind of SAF, which is produced mainly from used cooking oil (UCO) and Euglena. SUSTEO emits CO₂ at the combustion stage, same as fossil fuels, but both Euglena and plants (origin of UCO) absorb CO₂ by photosynthesis during the growing stage, so it can help achieve a carbon neutral state — essentially net zero CO₂ emissions at the time used.
The ground vehicle that fueled the E175 for the historic flight was, itself, powered by renewable diesel produced by Euglena. Suzuyo Shoji Co., Ltd has a long history of developing energy-saving initiatives, including reduction programs at schools. It’s why several science and technology high-school students were among the 77 passengers on board the flight, as well as guests from governments and airports.
Finding scalable biomass is one obstacle for ramping up production of SAF — on a global scale. Using microalgae may be a very good local solution. In fact, SUSTEO’s SAF is certified by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing & Materials) in D7566 Annex 6.
Embraer, one of the largest commercial aircraft companies in the world, manufactured the aircraft. According to the Brazil-based company, “One day, SUSTEO SAF produced by Euglena could really take off, all around the world.”
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