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Sustainable Aviation Fuels

GARDN’s engagement into biofuel initiatives


Accelerating the affordability and availability of sustainable aviation fuel is an important part of Canada and the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy. The aviation industry is growing, with air traffic growing by 5% per year. While other modes of transportation can turn to alternative energy sources (e.g., electric vehicles), aircraft will continue to need liquid fuels for the near future. Existing technologies and aircraft efficiency improvements will not be enough for the aviation industry to achieve its ambitious goals of: carbon neutral growth by 2020 and to cut its total CO2 emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. Achieving greater greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the aviation sector requires the widespread availability and use of sustainable aviation fuel (sustainable aviation fuel), which is currently more expensive than conventional jet fuel.

The drive towards a smaller carbon footprint for the aviation industry has been given a boost by the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) of Canada. Reducing the aviation industry’s environmental footprint will create a more competitive and sustainable industry and is critical for our transition to a lower-carbon economy. Cleaner fuels are central to those efforts.


The Sky’s The Limit Challenge

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, issued on August 17, a nationwide challenge to Canadians to develop the cleanest, most affordable and sustainable aviation fuel for the aviation sector to further reduce its carbon footprint and fight climate change.

The Sky’s the Limit Challenge stimulates the development of sustainable aviation fuel supply chains so that the Canadian aviation industry can further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and lower the flying public’s environmental footprint. The Challenge consists of two competitions open to a range of innovators and includes significant prize money.

The SAF Community

 SAF Community is a new free online platform, launched by GARDN, for everyone involved in the sector of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, and created to facilitate collaboration and foster innovation, production, and use of advanced jet fuels. Many features are available for its users and allow them to: get in contact and collaborate with the different stakeholders, be up to date on SAF related news and events, join discussion groups and find needed expertise. Join now to engage with your community, invite your existing network and extend your collaborations.

SAF Talk

SAF Talk is a key event to help the decarbonization of air travel. These two days will bring together all the stakeholders along the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chain to exchange their ideas, opinions and expertise through engagement in discussion groups, roundtables, workshops and panels. SAF Talk is open to worldwide players to ensure a better global contribution to accelerating the innovation, production and commercialization of SAF in North America and abroad.



Assessment of likely technology maturation pathways used to produce biojet from forest residues (ATM project)

The first integrated study that compared technical, life cycle and techno-economic parameters of three types of thermochemical liquefaction technologies and upgraded into finished fuels. The project represents a significant achievement in advancing the knowledge and identifying key challenges of producing biojet fuels through thermochemical liquefaction technologies.

BioPort feasibility study 

GARDN has launched a request-for-proposals to conduct the first BioPort feasibility study in Canada to assess the potential for a Canadian airport to be supplied by a locally made SAF. The bid was won by the Waterfall Group (project lead based in Vancouver), SkyNRG (in the Netherlands and global market leader for SAF) and the Airport of Vancouver. Results of the study are expected by March 2020. 

Collaboration with RSB

GARDN is preparing a collaboration with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), world’s leader sustainability certification body. This partnership will allow GARDN to provide advisory services  

GARDN’s White Paper  

The GARDN team is proud to present its brand new white paper on Sustainable Aviation Fuels in Canada. It is divided in six main chapters, corresponding to six strategic areas that need to be focused on in order to develop SAF supply chains in Canada. Download here.


Natural Resources Canada

A collaboration was initiated to help the federal department draw a challenge  and animate the community of participants. The aim is to foster production of Canadian-made SAF. The challenges have now moved to the second phase (first streamwith 4 finalists that each won $2M to develop their technology. The winner will be announced in 2021 along with the reception of a $5M check. 

SAF community Platform

GARDN launched the SAF Community platform, a social network entirely dedicated to SAF stakeholders either or Canada or foreign. The objective of the platform is to facilitate communication and collaboration between stakeholders regardless of their location or expertise in the field. The online network offers a news feed, forums, one directory, etc


Environment and Climate Change Canada

Mandate from this federal department has assigned to us the task to map Canadian SAF stakeholders and identify the gaps and challenges in the Canadian SAF sector. The result of this work was gathered in a white paper which analyzes the Canadian perspective on the sector through 6 strategic areas and draws recommendations for each one for further steps to produce and deploy Canadian-made SAF.

The 6 strategic areas are: RD&D and InnovationFinancing and strategic partnershipsPolicy and regulationsTechnical and sustainability certificationsOutreach and knowledge transferConsortia-building and regional initiatives. 

R&D Project: Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Research

This project advanced the state of science of contrail research and Canadian contribution in this field. The two-year project compared the characteristics of persistent contrails formed from petroleum jet fuel and biofuel through a series of 5 commercial biofuel flights with following measuring aircraft (NRC’s CT-133) analyzing contrail composition.  


R&D Project: Brassica Carinata Bio-derived Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene with Aromatics

First Biofuel-Powered Revenue Flight in Canada (with Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Porter Airlines, Targeted GrowthAgrisomaSkyNRG and Sustainable Oils).  

R&D Project: Biologic and Process Technologies for Renewable Jet Fuel

Minister of Industry congratulates NRC and Agrisoma for this project that resulted in the world’s first 100% biofuel flight (with Transport Canada and Applied Research Associates).   


R&D Project: Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative

First-ever introduction of SAF into the hydrant of Canada’s largest airport (Toronto’s Pearson) in support of Earth Day 2018 during which 21 domestic flights took-off with a 30% biofuel content.