A stakeholders’ participatory approach to multi-criteria assessment of sustainable aviation fuels production pathways

Salman Ahmad, Jamal Ouenniche, Ben W. Kolosz, Philip Greening, John M. Andresen, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Bing Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) provide a viable option to decarbonise global aviation. Unlike conventional jet-fuel, SAFs can be produced in several production pathways making their selection a complex multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem with conflicting objectives. In this paper, we propose a multicriteria based framework for evaluating SAF production pathways, which is a sequential decision-making process with feedback adjustment mechanisms. Given the early stage of SAF technologies' development and the scarcity of data on such technologies, in this research, we involved a variety of aviation industry stakeholders to assist with data and preference gathering. Our MCDM framework is designed to be generic to provide flexibilities to potential users in choosing the appropriate implementation decisions for the relevant stakeholders. The strength of the proposed framework lays in its flexibility to accommodate various stakeholders' subjective judgements, choice of ranking method, and robustness of results. We used our MCDM framework within a stakeholders’ participatory approach to rank order 11 SAF production pathways against 24 criteria grouped under social, environmental, economic, and technical impact categories. Our analysis revealed that the environmental and the economic impact categories are the most important ones followed by the technical and the social criteria; the gasification/Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) based production processes are preferred over fermentation and oil-based ones; and waste gases are the preferred feedstock along with wood-residue. These findings provide decision-makers with guidelines on the selection of SAF production pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108156
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Volume238
Early online date12 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2021

Keywords

  • multi-criteria decision making (MCDM)
  • PROMETHEE
  • sustainability
  • sustainable aviation fuels (SAF)
  • TOPSIS
  • VIKOR

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