Revolutionizing Aviation: Methanol to Sustainable Flight Fuel

SAFImage Source: TotalEnergies


In a groundbreaking feat at COP28 in Dubai, a pioneering test flight converted Methanol into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), spearheaded by Masdar and TotalEnergies. Despite Methanol’s absence from specified alcohols for jet fuel, this successful flight utilized a blend of olefin-based aviation fuel, propelling a potential pathway for SAF derived from renewable electricity. With ambitions to curb aviation emissions, the flight signifies progress in the quest for decarbonizing air travel.


The aviation industry marks a milestone as Masdar and TotalEnergies join forces to execute a historic test flight during COP28 in Dubai. This flight charts a new course in aviation's sustainable future by showcasing the conversion of Methanol into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This breakthrough, achieved amidst the UAE's climate-focused summit, harnesses the collaborative efforts of various entities, including the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus, Falcon Aviation Services, and technology licensor Axens.

Certified pathways for jet fuel, like the Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK), have traditionally excluded Methanol. However, this flight’s utilization of a unique blend of aviation fuel derived from olefins aims to solidify Methanol’s inclusion in the SAF production certification process. The successful flight thus illuminates a promising avenue to produce SAF from Methanol, a prospect laden with the potential for substantial environmental gains.

This revolutionary initiative signifies more than just a single flight. It presents a window into the future of aviation—offering a potential route to eSAF, a critical solution in global efforts to tackle aviation emissions. With an eye on decarbonization, the utilization of renewable electricity to fuel this new pathway could mark a transformative moment in the quest for sustainable air travel.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, underscored the flight's significance in steering aviation towards sustainability. "This test flight demonstrates the shared ambition of Masdar and TotalEnergies to advance the development of SAF," he stated. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the joint industry responsibility to innovate clean aviation fuels.


The successful Methanol-to-SAF test flight orchestrated by Masdar and TotalEnergies at COP28 signals a pivotal shift in aviation's sustainability narrative. This leap towards utilizing renewable resources for flight fuels holds promise in the global pursuit to decarbonize air travel. As partnerships and innovations flourish, the sky appears brighter with possibilities for a more sustainable aviation sector.

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