We apply the atmosfair fairfuel standard

The atmosfair fairfuel Standard is a quality label for Power-to-Liquid (PtL) – E-kerosene and E-methanol for aviation and the maritime transport sector. E-kerosene is refined from synthetic crude oil into commercially applicable Jet A1, whereby the crude oil is produced through synthesis processes from the feedstocks CO₂ and water using electricity. E-kerosene can be utilized within the existing aviation infrastructure without the need for modifications to the infrastructure or the aircraft. Thus, E-kerosene has the potential to permanently and sufficiently solve the CO₂ problem of aviation for the climate goals of Paris. E-methanol is also produced through synthesis from the feedstocks CO₂ and water using electricity and can be directly used as fuel in the maritime sector. E-methanol possesses similar properties to marine diesel and can be utilized in the existing infrastructure of the maritime transport sector with minor adjustments. In the future, after receiving the corresponding ASTM certification, E-methanol can also be processed into E-kerosene. Both this variant and the utilization of by-products within the refinery processes of E-kerosene are covered by this standard. To harness all these potentials, it requires an integrated deployment of PtL technology from a climate perspective – a task ensured by the atmosfair fairfuel Standard.

What then remains are the non-CO2 emissions from aviation, which contribute significantly to global warming and which are initially only reduced by e-kerosene, but not eliminated. Optimised flight routes can help reduce these emissions in the long run [1] but this is not covered by the fairfuel standard.

Criteria / Allocation:atmosfair
Form:Voluntary additional standard
For:Producers of E-Kerosene and E-Methanol
Audit:Recognized certification bodies
Criteria:Additional green electricity, non-fossil CO2 sources, water, ESG for Global South
Scope:Validation of the plant, certification of the quantity and quality of synthetic hydrocarbons
atmosfair fairfuel – label for E-Kerosene and E-Methanol

Limitation to Aviation and Maritime Transport Sectors

Due to the high energy consumption involved in the production of PtL products and the initially low production volumes, the atmosfair fairfuel Standard restricts E-fuels to use in aviation (medium- and long-haul flights) and in maritime shipping, as there are no alternative propulsion methods available for these sectors. The use of atmosfair fairfuel in road transportation is excluded.

Main Objective: Decarbonization of Aviation and Maritime Shipping

The atmosfair fairfuel criteria ensure that the potential greenhouse gas reductions from E-Kerosene/E-Methanol are maximally realized – through the use of non-fossil, mostly biological CO₂ sources with residual character. PtL facilities according to the fairfuel Standard must increasingly utilize direct air capture (DAC) facilities to provide CO₂, in order to become completely independent of all biogenic and residual sources in the long term. Additionally, there are requirements for additionality and regional specificity for the renewable electricity sources used, which support the energy transition without competing with it.


Reliable CO2 sources are non-fossil and similar to waste. The sources are broken down into four categories (direct air capture, sustainable, partially sustainable, not sustainable). Filtering CO2 from the air (direct air capture, DAC) is the best source in this process. How the sources are assessed also depends on the environmental impact of the upstream chain and excludes, for example, certain substrates in biogas plants, such as farmed biomass with maize. If climate-friendly alternatives are available, such as steel production with green hydrogen, coal-based steel production is out of the question as a source. The Silver standard of the fairfuel label, however, allows e.g. CO2 from cement production as a temporary transitional solution.

If CO2 from fossil sources is used, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by a maximum of 50% because the CO2 is now used at least “twice” compared to the purely fossil status quo (see scenario 1). However, fossil CO2 from the earth continues to be released into the atmosphere (see scenario 2), which will make it impossible to reach the climate targets. With DAC or biogenic CO2, on the other hand, a CO2 cycle can be achieved in the short term (scenario 3) as atmospheric CO2 is extracted from the atmosphere by means of plants or technology and then processed to become e-kerosene. This is the only scenario where no fossil CO2 is used for the production of e-kerosene and released into the atmosphere. The atmosfair fairfuel standard thus derives the fairfuel criteria from this scenario.


The power supply for the synthesis plant must not compromise the energy transition and the Paris climate goals, and must not delay the desired decarbonization of the electricity sector. Therefore, for atmosfair fairfuel, the electricity must not only be 100% renewable, but also additional, and must correlate geographically and temporally with generation. To ensure this, the fairfuel Standard adheres to the European requirements for renewable electricity supply for the production of RFNBOs. The “Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1184 of 10 February 2023 supplementing Directive (EU) 2018/2001” specifies these requirements. This ensures that when connected to the grid, the conditions of additionality, as well as temporal and geographical correlation, are guaranteed. Specific requirements can be found in the above-mentioned legal act.

The fairfuel Standard supplements these criteria with additional requirements to ensure the production of E-kerosene/E-methanol is in line with the Paris climate goals.

  • Elimination of the transitional phase in the area of additionality
  • Expansion of the geographical correlation (500 km radius)
  • System serviceability of the PtL facility

For locations outside the EU, the PtL facility operator must also provide electricity to the local population at socially acceptable prices if needed. A list of recognized fairfuel certification bodies can be found here.

Economic viability and feasibility, market rollout

Although atmosfair criteria require stepped up effort from plant operators when it comes to planning, they do not automatically result in higher costs. On the contrary, in the long term the costs can be lower relative to other scenarios if the availability of CO2 and electricity as the main resources in the fairfuel option also means becoming less dependent on external risk factors and being able to guarantee continuous plant operation.

The bottom line is that the fairfuel criteria can often be worthwhile financially speaking. In addition, the atmosfair Silver certificate keeps the entry barriers low. Overall, these criteria will not jeopardise the market ramp-up of PtL kerosene in the foreseeable future.

Sufficient CO2 sources available for aviation

In addition to environmental standards, the sustainability of PtL also involves paying attention to the economic side. In addition to the costs already mentioned, it must be ensured that the CO2 sources permitted by this standard are available in sufficient quantities.

As a result, atmosfair has calculated the CO2 needed for PtL production for global air transport and compared this to the available quantities from sources in categories A and B (sustainable and partially sustainable) of this standard. It was shown that there are sufficient waste CO2 sources available today worldwide, with a focus on waste biomass, to fully supply global aviation with sustainable PtL. The faster aviation grows in the future, the quicker we need to transition to direct air capture. The atmosfair criteria combine the need to shift quickly to DAC in environmental terms with the economic necessity of using sufficiently secure CO2 sources for the necessary market ramp-up of e-kerosene.

More information on the atmosfair fairfuel standard

[1] To learn more about the impact of e-kerosene on the non-CO2 effects of aviation and the importance for climate change mitigation, see the separate atmosfair paper “E-Kerosene: Non-CO2 effects and scarce energy resources – clear skies, clear conscience?