All about SAF Technology

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Certification and ASTM International: What Is It & Why Does It Matter?

In the aviation fuel industry, ASTM serves as the international standard for jet fuel quality, and plays a crucial role in ensuring safety, quality, and reliability of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). SkyNRG, as leaders in SAF, actively participates in evolving these standards in a way that prepares the industry for the large-scale production and usage of SAF.  The end goal? To maximize the positive impact of sustainable aviation fuel on the climate, as soon as possible.

What or who is ASTM?

ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an international organization at which technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, processes, systems, and services are developed. Jet fuel must comply to strict quality specifications to be eligible for use in the aviation industry. The ASTM D1655 ‘Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels’ forms the global basis of all jet fuel quality specifications for each batch produced and plays a crucial role in ensuring operational safety and reliability. ASTM standards are based on the consensus of all ASTM members, represented by industry stakeholders. For the jet fuel industry these include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), federal agencies, fuel suppliers, academia, fuel (inc. SAF) producers, technology providers, trade associations, etc.   

Why is ASTM important for the SAF industry?

In addition to the D1655 standard for conventional jet fuel, ASTM D7566 is the ‘Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons’ and describes the fuel quality specifications for each qualified SAF production pathway. For a new SAF production pathway to be included in D7566, the fuel must undergo extensive testing to define the maximum blend ratio with conventional jet fuel and demonstrate such blend is fit for purpose. This procedure is  outlined in ASTM D4054, the ‘Standard Practice for Evaluation of New Aviation Turbine Fuels and Fuel Additives’. Since D7566 is the only globally recognized fuel standard for the qualification of SAF in the aviation industry, the qualification is an essential element for each SAF technology’s road to market.

How does it work?

Each batch of jet fuel needs to be certified prior to usage. Whereas conventional jet fuels are certified as D1655 fuels (or derivates thereof), neat SAF is certified to the stringent specification requirements listed in the D7566 Annex corresponding to the SAF production pathway. D7566 certified SAF is blended with conventional jet fuel up to its maximum allowed blend ratio. The blended SAF is then certified according to the D7566 blend requirements, and thereby automatically receives a D1655 certification, making it fully Jet A/A-1 compliant (a ‘drop-in fuel’) and ready to be used in existing jet fuel infrastructure and equipment.

SkyNRG’s activities at ASTM

SkyNRG is involved in ASTM on several fronts. We stay up to date on and participate in the latest discussions and provide input from the perspective of the SAF industry. We protect that the standards are shaped in a way that is workable for the industry while ensuring that the produced SAF meet the highest quality and safety requirements. We also actively engage in shaping the D7566 standard to include a variety of SAF production pathways. Requesting ASTM qualification is seen as a hurdle for the deployment of new SAF techniques and SkyNRG aims to lower the burden by providing experience and expertise to SAF technology developers. SkyNRG’s experts have been assisting in shaping SAF related ASTM standards since the introduction of SAF and have built a strong network among all industry stakeholders.

In short, ASTM is of crucial importance for the aviation fuel industry as it is the basis of the international standard for jet fuel quality, and SAF in particular. SkyNRG is actively involved to help shape the standards to pave the way for a smooth SAF market rollout and enable large scale production in order to meet the industry’s climate targets.  

Want to learn more about Sustainable Aviation Fuel? Check out more in our knowledge center, where we let you know “All About SAF”.

Want to know more on ASTM qualifications for SAF pathways?

Eva van Mastbergen

Senior Project Lead

Want to know more on ASTM and SAF compliancy?

Renco Beunis

Supply Chain Manager