Polytechnique Montréal to Tackle Development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Despite the massive environmental impact, the aviation industry is far too convenient to ever be lost. With that in mind, there are lots of experts hard at work finding a way to make the fuel used more sustainable. The Polytechnique Montréal Department of Chemical Engineering research group is on a mission to overcome this hurdle, developing a method to convert carbon dioxide into clean aviation fuels. 

The Engineering Process Intensification and Catalysis Research Laboratory (EPIC Group) will lead the charge on the development of these sustainable fuels, in partnership with the SAF+ Consortium, CCG Climat, and the Québec Centre for Chemical Process Studies.

They obtained funding through the Innov-R program, which was created to “foster the emergence of innovative collaborative projects in strategic economic sectors that will enable Québec to move forward and achieve its GHG emission reduction targets more quickly”, according to Benoit Charette, who is the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change among other things.

The project will focus on developing a platform to convert carbon dioxide from industrial pollution into clean aviation fuel. If the platform uses renewable energy and dihydrogen (H2), it could reduce aviation fuel’s carbon emissions by 80%. Their development intends to use a multi stage process to first convert CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO). In the second stage, CO and H2 are used to obtain liquid hydrocarbons. This is the first serious research into combining these two steps for aviation fuel production. R&D is the first step in converting our present methods to sustainable alternatives – and it’s innovative collaborations like this that show hard work pays off.

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