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Impact Canada Cleantech Challenge – Sky’s the Limit


The aviation sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. Bringing tools that can scale and address the challenge at a global level is absolutely critical. We envision Sustainable aviation fuels as playing a critical role in addressing the climate challenge. We're not going to be able to electrify planes for some time. We'll electrify cars, we'll electrify light duty vehicles, but heavy duty vehicles, specifically aviation fuel is going to be the most difficult part of the bill to decarbonize and that's why I'm so passionate about it.

The aviation sector alone accounts for 3% of global GHG emissions. Its carbon footprint is quite difficult to reduce with the favourable support provided by regulation, the production of sustainable aviation fuel has emerged as a promising solution. Enerkem is the leading disruptive, clean technology provider. We produce renewable chemicals and biofuels using non- recyclable waste and forest biomass.

As a leader in clean technology, Enerkem is proud to leverage its made in Canada disruptive technology to offer an innovative, sustainable solution to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry and contribute in a very tangible way in tackling climate change issues. With our Edmonton and Westbury facilities, we already have the infrastructure in place to move to the commercialization stage and will be able to proceed as soon as the market conditions will enable sustainable returns. We already initiated certification of our sustainable aviation fuel by the Canadian, American and European authorities.

Tomorrow's fuel will not come from the ground, but will be recycled from traditional industrial plants. An excellent approach to decarbonizing our economy. By reducing GHGs by 80% compared to fossil kerosene, our synthetic kerosene allows us to reduce the climate impact of both transportation and heavy industry.

Instead of burning fuel to produce energy and emit CO2, CO2 receives energy to produce fuel. In short, we turn clean electricity into fuel. In doing so, our technology allows the reduction of 80% in carbon emissions compared to conventional fuel.

From CO2 to water to energy. All the required resources can be found here in Quebec. This first 100% Canadian production opens the way to a new industry, making Canada a pioneer in this field as it pursues its energy transition and its desire to decarbonize transportation and the economy.

Almost all of today's aviation fuel is made from petroleum, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. FORGE technology offers a sustainable option to decarbonize air travel to meet growing climate change goals. By 2050, it's estimated that over 500 billion litres of aviation fuel would be consumed every year. Today, sustainable aviation fuel represents less than 0.1% of all aviation fuel used, which means the industry needs a solution to increase the amount of sustainable aviation fuel today. As part of the government of Canada's Sky's the Limit Challenge, Forge has successfully produced a sustainable aviation fuel that can meet industry demands. Our process starts with lipid feedstocks from waste oils and fats. Then, through a proven lipid to hydrocarbon technology, we produce low carbon, cost competitive, greener, cleaner, renewable diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel. FORGE sustainable aviation fuel meets and exceeds industry requirements, and will provide a cleaner and greener fuel to meet the aviation industry's needs and power tomorrow's greener, cleaner travel.

Aviation is widely considered one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. Developing scalable and affordable sustainable aviation fuel is absolutely critical. At carbon engineering, we are commercializing direct air capture technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Once captured, the carbon dioxide can then be stored safely and permanently back underground where it came from. Or through carbon engineering's air to fuels process, we can combine it with clean hydrogen to create a synthetic crude which can then be refined into drop and compatible fuels like sustainable aviation fuel.

Not only is this fuel drop incompatible with existing aircraft, it is exceptionally clean burning compared to conventional jet fuel.

CE solutions present significant opportunities that can help to accelerate Canada's national hydrogen and CCUS strategies and can help Canada to play a leadership role on the global world stage in the fight against climate change.

Because it sends a strong signal, a strong message to our stakeholders that our project has gone through a stringent due diligence process and has been selected as one with the most chances of success by the Government of Canada.

We have already made the choice that we are pivoting towards sustainable aviation fuel and the Sky's the Limit has helped us get there. Win the grand prize or not, we are able to prove to ourselves that that's the direction that we're going to go.

We are grateful for the support and opportunity from the Canadian government and we are proud to work with Canada to deploy world class solutions to climate change.

Accelerating the affordability and availability of sustainable aviation fuel is an important part of Canada and the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and promoting the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chains in Canada were the aims of the Sky’s the Limit Challenge. This challenge was launched because existing technologies and aircraft efficiency improvements will not be enough for the aviation industry to achieve its ambitious goals of carbon neutral growth by 2020 and cutting its total CO2 emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050.

This challenge was comprised of two competitions seeking to solve problems with the availability and affordability of SAF in Canada:

  • The Green Aviation Fuels Innovation competition sought to develop a made-in-Canada sustainable aviation fuel with the best GHG reduction, at the lowest production cost, with the greatest potential for commercial scale-up.
  • The Cross-Canada Flight Competition sought to complete the first 3000 km flight across Canada using 10% or more Canadian-produced sustainable aviation fuel. This Challenge closed January 1, 2021, with no prize awarded.


The Green Aviation Fuels Innovation competition received an initial 16 applications. Narrowed down to 4 finalists by an expert jury, each received up to $2.15M to refine their project idea, network with industry to attract investment, contribute to the growth of the industry in Canada, and compete for the grand prize.

Grand Prize

The top team received the $5,000,000 grand prize to scale up their winning sustainable aviation fuel and take their product to the next level.

Challenge Collaborators

  • Air Canada
  • Green Aviation Research & Development Network
  • WestJet

Finalists & Projects

Enerkem, Westbury, QC – Challenge Winner

Sustainable aviation fuels from agro and forestry biomass and from municipal solid waste through a hub and spoke approach. Learn more about Enerkem’s project.

Carbon Engineering, Squamish BC

Ultra-low carbon intensive sustainable aviation fuel, made from direct air capture CO2, water and renewable electricity. Learn more about Carbon Engineering‘s project.

FORGE Hydrocarbons, Edmonton, AB

Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon Biojet Project. Learn more about FORGE Hydrocarbons‘s project.

SAF+ Consortium, Montréal, QC

Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel from flue gas–captured CO2 and low-carbon hydrogen. Learn more about SAF+ Consortium‘s project.

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