In the transportation industry, aviation is one of the most dynamic sectors. The forecast indicates that aviation will grow at 4.8% until 2036, which implies that fuel requirements will double along with CO2 emissions. Therefore, the sustainable development of aviation sector faces great challenges and relies on a four-pillar strategy, which includes increasing engine efficiency, optimization of flight trajectories, and alternative fuels. Renewable jet fuel, also known as biojet fuel, consists of hydrocarbons in the range of boiling point of fossil jet fuel, C8-C16, obtained from the biomass processing. There are different pathways to produce biojet fuel, being the hydroprocessing of triglyceride feedstock one of the most reliable and advanced. The hydrotreating process consists of three main steps: hydrodeoxygenation, cracking and isomerizing, and finally purification; also, it allows obtaining biojet fuel with the required properties from different renewable oils. Nevertheless, it has several opportunity areas to decrease energy consumption and environmental impact.
Therefore, in this work an analysis of hydrotreating processes to produce biojet fuel is presented in terms of energy consumption, total annual costs, and CO2 emissions. Different renewable raw materials of high productive potential in Mexico are considered; along with the implementation of process intensification strategies for the separation train. Results show that the use of thermally coupled distillation sequences allows designing sustainable processes for the production of biojet fuel economically competitive with fossil jet fuel.