Biofuel Air Emissions Analysis

Research output: NRELPresentation


U.S. has goals to produce 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) annually by 2030, increasing to 35 billion gallons by 2050 to decarbonize the aviation sector. Meeting these production targets will require large number of biorefineries to be set up. However, ability to comply with federal air quality standards is prerequisite to being issued a construction permit. Negotiating the permitting process for a new biorefinery can be quite onerous and cost the investors significant time and money. Although there can be numerous reasons for delayed biorefinery construction, air permitting is fraught with pitfalls because the permitting process relies on precedence, which the future SAF biorefineries lack. NREL's Biofuel Air Emissions Analysis project is unique and innovative in terms of the tools, approaches, and analyses provided. NREL is the only national laboratory that is actively working at the intersection of Federal air quality regulations, emissions and air quality analysis across the supply chain, and process design. This project is focused on providing much needed data and analyses that address biorefinery air permitting. This project develops models and quantitative analyses and measures progress towards meeting air quality regulatory requirements. These models and methods are applied to analyze air permitting related to wastewater sludge to biofuel conversion pathways using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), impacts of HTL pathway on local and regional air quality including an assessment of health and equity impacts. In addition to filling research gaps, this project also disseminates the findings to the relevant stakeholders at BETO, other national labs, and regulatory agencies.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2023 U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Project Peer Review, 3-7 April 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-85539


  • air quality
  • biofuel
  • emission
  • sustainable aviation fuel


Dive into the research topics of 'Biofuel Air Emissions Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this