The aviation sector is rapidly expanding, and the number of passengers is increasing by the minute. This is accompanied by a rapidly increasing demand for fuel and a very high rate of carbon emissions.
Going electric will be the most cost-effective option because it is renewable and has several sources such as solar and wind. Weight will be a major issue for electric-powered aircraft. And, unlike regular airplanes, which become lighter as they burn gasoline, battery-powered planes will not have a similar advantage.
As a result, the next apparent fuel choice is the fuel of the future, "hydrogen" fuels. However, the weight of hydrogen fuel presents its own set of issues. Because hydrogen has more energy than jet fuel, it takes up a substantially larger space when cooled to a liquid. A hydrogen jet would require a fuel tank four times the size of a typical aircraft to provide the same amount of power, leaving less capacity for passengers or cargo.
One way to go greener and more sustainable with air travel are to replace regular kerosene jet fuel with more sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). SAFs are made from cooking oil, home waste, or plant matter, and they may be combined with kerosene to fuel current planes without replacing or modifying their engines. When production and transportation costs are included, using SAFs can result in up to 80% fewer carbon emissions than using kerosene in a single flight.
SAF is a biofuel that is used to power jet engines. It has similar qualities to normal jet fuel but emits less carbon. SAF can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and some investigations have shown that it can even have a negative greenhouse gas footprint depending on the food stock and technology used to produce it.
Corn grain, oil seeds, algae, other fats, oils, and greases are examples of food stocks that can be utilised to make SAFs. Agricultural leftovers, forest residues, wood mill waste, municipal solid waste streams, wet wastes (manures, wastewater treatment sludge), and dedicated energy crops.
Aviation’s commitment to increase the utilization of SAF is the agreement between airlines and biofuel producers. Around 6 billion litres of fuel are being covered. To meet this demand, further production facilities and some airlines have directly invested in aviation biofuel refinery projects.
At this rate, this dream of going net-zero emission might not be a dream anymore.