Can planes fly on waste? Yes, and on so much more

One’s waste can prove to be treasure to somebody else

Sustainable jet fuels will be one of the solutions to mitigate emissions growth across the aviation industry in the medium term.

From meat processing waste to used cooking oil, what is considered waste by one can be a valuable raw material to another. This idea is central to the concept of circular economy, which in turn continues to inspire our development and production of sustainable aviation fuels. In fact, much of our EUR 41 million R&D expenditure goes into researching new and advanced renewable raw materials.

In recent years, our focus has been on increasing the use of waste and residues as raw material. The result? Waste and residues now account for nearly 80% of our renewable raw material usage. Today, more than ten different raw materials can be used to produce our renewable products. Thanks to an extensive raw material base, we can tailor our product offer to meet the requirements of different markets and customers, including those in the aviation industry.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), sustainable jet fuels will be one of the solutions to mitigate emissions growth across the aviation industry in the medium term.

The aviation community is seeking fuel solutions which do not negatively impact on land used for food production or unsustainable water consumption, therefore we ensure that the aviation fuels we produce do not compete with food supplies nor are major consumers of fresh water or prime agricultural land.

So, can sources of fatty wastes such as used cooking oil and fish fat, among others – be converted into fuel to power jet aircraft? Definitely!

Some examples of lower quality wastes and residues that we already turn into premium quality renewable products are:

  • Animal fat from food industry waste

Meat processing waste is typically animal fat. These waste parts are unsuitable for human consumption.

  • Fish fat from fish processing waste

Fish fat is separated from the gutting waste of the Pangasius fish, native to fresh water in South and Southeast Asia, after fillets have been removed for human consumption.

  • Used cooking oil

Used cooking fats and oils are primarily wastes from the food industry and from restaurants. These used cooking oils are sourced globally.

  • Technical corn oil

Technical corn oil (TCO) is a processing residue generated in ethanol production. TCO is used primarily as raw material in the oleochemical industry, as an animal feed additive, and as raw material in renewable diesel production.

We have proven that it is possible to utilize lower quality wastes and residues to create premium quality products. So yes, animal fat and used cooking oil can make jet planes soar. If you’re interested in this and want to take action, share your ideas with us. Aviation can be a forerunner in creating a sustainable demand for advanced sustainable fuels.

Want to know more about sustainable jet fuel? Download our free material Sustainable Growth with Renewable Jet Fuel.

Share this page
Want us to keep you updated?

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on the latest happening in Decarbonizing Aviation

Share Your Ideas

Got an idea for decarbonizing aviation? Let us hear it.

I hereby agree that Neste Oy will use my personal data, i.e email and name to get in touch with me to answer my particular inquiry*
Neste Oy can use my data to create a customized marketing experience, using third-party tools*