In the United States (US), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta) has announced that it partnering with compatriot sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) developer DG Fuels LLC to establish a new SAF supply stream.
Under a new agreement, the low-emissions fuel company plans to establish a new SAF supply stream that could provide Delta with 385 million (US) gallons (≈ 1.46 billion litres) of unblended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), while helping to expand the availability of SAF in the underserved marketplace.
Achieving a sustainable future for travel will require us all to work together across industries and encourage innovations like DG Fuel’s new low-emissions SAF option. SAF is essential to our industry’s more sustainable future, and new supply chain streams will help ensure sustainable fuel becomes more available and affordable, said Pam Fletcher, Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
Anticipated to begin delivery by the end of 2027, DG Fuels is planning to deliver 55 million gallons (≈ 208 million litres) of SAF annually for seven years.
The SAF will likely use wood waste, corn stover, and cotton gin waste as feedstock and is expected to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by between 75-85 percent compared to conventional jet fuel, which aligns with Delta’s goal as a founding member of the First Movers Coalition.
The agreement also moves Delta toward its recently validated Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) goal to reduce well-to-wake scope 1 and 3 jet fuel GHG emissions by 45 percent per revenue tonne-kilometer by 2035 from a 2019 base year (excluding non-CO2eq effects which may also contribute to aviation induced warming – Delta Air Lines commits to publicly report on non-CO2eq impacts of aviation over its target timeframe).
Science Based Targets initiative is a coalition that defines and promotes emissions reduction goals that climate scientists predict are needed to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
DG Fuels is committed to developing and supporting initiatives that provide practical and sustainable benefits to businesses, the environment and local communities. We are proud to take this next long-term step alongside Delta Air Lines in supporting the lasting sustainability of our planet by reducing the impact of airline travel on the environment said Michael C. Darcy, CEO of DG Fuels.
SAF is among the most impactful solutions on the market today for reducing aviation’s carbon emissions, but availability remains limited – the current existing supply would only operate a fleet Delta’s size for a single day.
The new agreement reflects Delta’s dedication to driving the growth of sustainable fuels as it works toward reducing aviation’s carbon emissions over the long term.
Cellulosic biomass feedstock SAF is the key to scaling deployment that moves the needle for the aviation industry in reducing its carbon footprint. Delta is a known innovator in the airline industry so we’re excited to work with them on implementing this long-term partnership, said Christopher J. Chaput, President and CFO of DG Fuels.
In SAF and other emerging technologies, Delta is also partnering with corporate, agency, and cargo customers on SAF agreements to encourage the growth of the alternative fuels markets.
Those efforts have resulted in more than 1 million gallons (≈ 3.7 million litres) of purchased SAF so far.