Embraer Joins Forces with United Airlines on Sustainable Aviation Fuel Venture Fund

Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer, the world’s third-largest jet manufacturer, has partnered with United Airlines Ventures (UAV) in its Sustainable Flight Fund, a collaborative effort to boost the supply and accessibility of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), according to brazilian.report.

This investment initiative, launched in February last year, is dedicated to expanding the production and accessibility of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) through investments in startups. The collective commitment from these companies has exceeded USD 200 million.

Embraer underscores the significance of boosting SAF availability as a pivotal factor in achieving the aviation sector’s objective of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Renewable energy sources, such as SAF, have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent when compared to traditional jet fuel. This aligns with Embraer’s internal target to attain carbon-neutral operations by 2040.

In a notable development last September, Embraer successfully conducted flight tests on two aircraft, the demonstrator Phenom 300E and the prototype Praetor 600, utilizing 100 percent SAF. The tests took place at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Florida. Notably, both aircraft featured separate fuel tanks supplying each engine, with one using conventional fuel and the other SAF. While pilots reported no discernible performance differences, the tests required the replacement of numerous seals and valves due to the absence of aromatic compounds in SAF, crucial for supporting seals in the air conditioning system.

Embraer highlights that all its aircraft presently hold approval for utilizing a blend of up to 50 percent SAF combined with traditional jet fuel, conforming to ASTM International specifications. However, the prospect of future specifications allowing for fuels containing up to 100 percent SAF could significantly enhance emissions reduction potential by utilizing sustainable, non-fossil-based sources.

Since 2021, Embraer has been actively engaged in its Energia program, focusing on electric aircraft powered by hydrogen cells and a dual-fuel propeller aircraft capable of running on either liquid hydrogen or SAF. The company’s entry into the fund occurred through its Embraer Ventures Fund, a corporate venture arm boasting a portfolio of over 40 startups. Beyond zero-emission solutions, the fund concentrates on critical areas for the future of air mobility, encompassing autonomous flight, artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, airframe competitiveness, cybersecurity, and innovative approaches to enhance the passenger experience.


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