Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is made of biomass, such as corn-based ethanol, and capable of decarbonizing the aviation sector. To qualify for United States federal tax credits, SAF must meet a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. SAF production has the potential to make an unprecidented impact on corn demand-- dwarfing the RFS's ethanol boom.

Current State

In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its goal of producing at least 3 billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030. In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act included tax credits incentivizing producers for SAF production. The 45Z, 45Q, and 40B offer opportunities for clean fuel production, carbon capture, and SAF respectively. However, for feedstocks to qualify for the IRA credits they must meet a 50% reduction in GHG emissions.  


In April, the United States Department of Treasury recently announced a modified GREET model to determine the carbon intensity of SAF feedstocks. The model requires farmers to bundle three conservation practices- minimized tillage, cover crops, and nitrogen reduction- for corn-ethanol to qualify for the SAF market. IL Corn supports the GREET model. However, ICGA and other agricultural groups are disappointed in the unreasonable demands the modifications require of corn farmers to access the SAF market.