Scaling of Cleaner Jet Fuels

It’s no myth that fossil fuels cause harm both biologically and environmentally, and that cleaner jet fuels are a safer alternative. So, why is it that countries haven’t made the predominant switch from one to the other? Why haven’t we found a way to use less of what we have in stock and more of what we have a surplus in? Societies have been experimenting with the use of fossil fuels for a century, yet are just at the beginning of seeing where renewable waste-based fuel technologies can lead us. Continue reading to learn about the pushback that has occurred, as well as what the future holds for greener alternatives while working towards making our aviation industry carbon net-zero.
Waste-based fuel sometimes referred to as ‘biofuel’ is made from sustainably sourced waste that safeguards our environment. It’s also important to note that the source of waste-based fuels should compete with neither food nor feed, as this wouldn’t demonstrate a truly sustainable and viable option. As said by Francesco Cherubini, a professor/director in the Industrial Ecology Programme of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. “If we want to decarbonize aviation, we must use biofuels.” We agree, Franceso!
Flightnook_Fossil Fuels demo
In 2018, the heavily plane-traveled country of Norway saw that biofuels showed to have lower negative effects on their environments than fossil fuels from a 20 to 100-year proportion. Given this information, they introduced a goal to establish that 30% of Norway’s aviation fuel will be sustainably produced biofuels by the year 2030, reducing climate effects by more than 17%. Astronomical results, but why have they given themselves so long to accomplish this objective?
The allocated 12 years is because this evolution needs to undergo many steps in making sure it accomplishes its initial purpose. While also confirming that it doesn’t impede or delay any other environmental goals in the process. They were able to do this by looking through the sustainability research lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. Their findings showed that new jet fuels produced from forestry residues had negative effects on the following SDGs; Zero Hunger, Clean Water & Sanitation, and Responsible Consumption & Production.
A lot of these impacts occurred in the production process, such as the transportation of twigs, bark, treetops, and other residues, as opposed to through the use of the fuel. Their findings also showed that the cleaner the raw materials being utilized were, the smaller the level of impacts it would have. These adverse impacts weren’t a reason to throw in the towel on their initial goal. On the contrary, noticing these impacts provided them with even more evidence that their policy and engineering infrastructure required a change to make the production of waste-based fuels a possibility for their country. All of the data collected in these trials will help them to advance towards their 2030 goal. While also showing other countries’ aviation sectors that it’s achievable and necessary.
The 2020 mandate from the Renewable Energy Directive stated that 20% of all energy used in the EU, including at least 10% of all energy in the transportation of fuels, be produced from renewable sources. Leading transportation energy percentages to increase from 10% in 2020 to 14% in 2030. According to a 2019 report on the metrics of sustainable aviation fuel, Sweden projects to produce upwards of 13500m³ biofuels by 2021, 70 000m³ by 2025, and a whopping 424 000m³ by 2030. The United States is even predicting produce between 84 billion and 97 billion gallons of biofuels per year by 2030 based on reports by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. These countries’ initiatives are what our world needs more of to bring our planet to a homeostasis state.
As of December 11th, sustainable waste-based distributors and airlines are now able to exceed CORSIA’s previous and unreliable legal requirements because of the recently ICAO-approved CORSIA Standard by RSB as a certifiable objective. Named by ICSA for being “best-in-class sustainability certification standard for advanced aviation fuels.” The aviation industry is evolving, and this is the proof in the pudding we needed!
Flightnook_Norwegian Airlines
You can find many articles on the internet arguing in favor or against the use of waste-based fuels to sustain our aviation industry. Legitimate arguments including high-cost production, the creation of monocultures, and industrial pollution to name a few. However, if produced correctly waste-based fuels are fully sustainable, but if we need to make this selection, then capacity will be limited. Through working with RSB, Flightnook is guaranteed that fuels with their label are sustainable. However, we believe that if we are to move away from the use of fossil fuels, there’s a need for another fuel type rather than just waste-based fuels.
Many countries’ scientific journeys have realized that waste-based fuel isn’t the only option for the future of a greener aviation industry. Waste-based fuels do a fantastic job with the limitations that our societies currently are met with. However, beyond those limitations is a greener pasture. One that is solely focussed on an e-fuel or electrofuel future. The European Commission and the IPCC itself have highlighted the urgency in which we need to develop new synthetic e-fuels. Together with the German government who’s climate protection plan is aiming to decrease transport emissions by 40% by 2030!
Through the combination of renewable electricity, carbon, and water we can produce hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are the magical component that we can then convert into the ultimate alternative and sustainable cleaner fuel. Another benefit of adopting this green fuel type is that it can be utilized without the need for new aircraft! That’s right, that means that our existing aviation infrastructure won’t need to be disposed of for this cleaner fuel to be in use. At first, this will be a costly change, but as factories scale, technologies advance, e-fuel will become less costly. In that case, e-fuel production is only limited to the capacity of renewable electricity, because water and CO2 are abundantly available.
With this in mind, things need to be put in motion and start putting first flights on cleaner jet fuels. It makes sense that the expected dates for a secure e-fuel run aviation industry entirely would be close to the year 2050. Cleaner fuels used in unison with new flying strategies such as the AirClim model will help to lower not only carbon emissions but also NOx and H20 emissions and contrails. “From our point of view, alternative fuels – both electricity-based and waste- and residue-based – are indispensable for hitting climate targets,” Says Thomas Willner, Professor of Process Engineering at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
Flightnook_Flight formation
The bottom line is that traveling has proven to have an immense value in our society within work and leisure and to be able to travel safely, we need to move in the direction of waste-based fuels and then once planted, swiftly to e-fuels. This switch from fossil fuel to e-fuel is the only possible answer that would allow our love of exploring the world by plane to continue, without causing disastrous amounts of carbon emissions. Check out our brand new e-fuel webpage to learn more about its future in the aviation industry and how Flightnook is moving towards a cleaner and more sustainable future!