Schiphol and sustainable kerosene

Schiphol is a strong advocate for sustainable fuels, such as synthetic kerosene. It contributes to our ambition to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions. KLM and Shell’s test flight using blended synthetic kerosene is great news. But did you know that a lot more is going on when it comes to sustainable kerosene? And that Royal Schiphol Group is closely involved in these developments? 

Planes are already flying on biokerosene 
Synthetic kerosene is not the only sustainable fuel out there. There’s also biokerosene, made from bio-based oil, such as cooking oil. It’s already on the market and planes are already flying using this fuel. Just like synthetic kerosene, it reduces the amount of CO2 emitted from your flight and can be used in modern planes. 

Available at Schiphol from this year on 
Biokerosene is still only being produced on a small scale and is only available at a handful of airports. Since the start of this year, Schiphol is also able to provide airlines with biokerosene upon request. A special supplier has been contracted for this: Neste. Los Angeles has biokerosene too. KLM is one of the airlines making use of it and KLM planes are flying on blended biokerosene between Los Angeles and Amsterdam. 

High prices supress demand 
The reason why biokerosene is not being widely used is the price. It is around 2 to 3 times more expensive than standard kerosene, which keeps demand low. That’s why the production of biokerosene needs to be increased. More supply means lower prices, and that will promote its use. 

The Netherlands to welcome Europe’s first biokerosene plant 
We are already working on increasing production. SkyNRG is building a sustainable biokerosene plant in Delfzijl – the first in Europe. Royal Schiphol Group is one of the investors. The plan is for the plant to be finished in 2023. It will lead to a significant rise in the supply of biokerosene. 

Synthetic kerosene still in the early stages 
Synthetic kerosene is still being developed, but tests have shown that the technology works. Basically, the production process involves mixing CO2 with hydrogen that has been created using renewable energy. KLM and Shell have demonstrated that it can safely be used to fly with. On 22nd January 2021, KLM made the very first flight (Schiphol – Madrid) using blended synthetic kerosene. A world premiere. 

Dutch synthetic kerosene start-ups are a world first 
Much more needs to be done yet. That’s why the start-ups Synkero and Zenid were launched on 8th February. Royal Schiphol Group is participating in the start-ups. Synkero and Zenid are going to further advance the development of synthetic kerosene and step up production. Another world exclusive for the Netherlands. 

Tonnes of synthetic kerosene 
Zenid’s goal is to set up a test plant that will be able to produce 1000 litres of synthetic kerosene per day in the near future. This test plant will be located at or in the vicinity of Rotterdam The Hague Airport, a Royal Schiphol Group airport. Synkero wants to establish a commercial synthetic kerosene plant on Port of Amsterdam land. There’ll be a direct connection to Schiphol from here. The plans state that the plant should be up and running in 2027 and that it will provide 50,000 tonnes of synthetic kerosene each year. 

Further increases in production and use 
Zenid, Synkero and the Delfzijl plant are just the beginning. The development, production and use of sustainable kerosene needs to be scaled up even more in order to maximise the sustainability impact. A European fuel blending obligation can contribute to this.  

CO2-netural aviation requires a combination of technologies 
Sustainable kerosene is not the only way to reduce the carbon footprint of flying. The aviation sector’s goal – CO2-neutral aviation in 2050 – requires a combination of technologies. That means electric and hybrid aircraft too, for example. Sustainable fuels like biokerosene and synthetic kerosene do, however, make a significant contribution.