The aviation industry is committed to developing a net-zero carbon emission fuel by 2050. Biofuels are the closest to creating sustainable energy fuels, followed by the newer carbon recycling technology that can generate energy from carbon waste. In this guide, we will learn about sustainable aviation fuels and their importance.
What are sustainable aviation fuels?
Sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, is an alternative to the fossil fuels that can provide cleaner energy alternatives for aircraft. It is produced in several ways, including the cultivation of feedstocks that can provide waste oils and residues to be used as fuel. A study reveals that SAF can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% in the aviation industry. Many sectors in the aviation industry are already implementing biofuel technology to create more advanced engines.
While biofuels are effective in becoming renewable fuels for the aviation sector, they are not completely harmless. Biofuels are produced from plants, animal materials, and even not-biological resources such as carbon waste. 100% clean energy is not present today, and all the biofuels that are being used or tested in the aviation industry are categorized as SAF. These fuels are categorized in the alternative fuel segment.
How is SAF made?
The idea behind creating SAF is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide as much as possible to provide cleaner energy. Since most of the biofuels are renewable in abundance, the only challenge among the aviation industry is to reduce the carbon footprint on the earth. The biofuel must also meet the requirements of the technology that is available in the aviation industry. There should not be a compromise on the performance of the available and upcoming aviation if we are planning to switch from fossil fuels to a biofuel.
Limitations to SAF
Fuel is playing an important role in running an aviation company. The operational cost spends highly on crude oil, and any changes in the cost of oil affect the company directly. Since the expenditure on processing SAFs from raw materials takes more than crude oil plants, SAF’s cost is also higher for now. It can be reduced to a significant level with the help of incentives. However, it should not fall down to the levels of sustainable road transport fuels.
The refining plants can operate for both fossil and biofuels. However, the production of SAF is more expensive today. The cost of processing SAF also depends on feedstock availability, supply chain, and logistics of the supply. Due to the limited infrastructure and low economy, SAF’s unit is higher than the conventional jet fuels.
Benefits of SAF
Environmentally, SAF can reduce carbon dioxide emissions for up to 80% with the best biofuels. The average biofuels can reduce the carbon emission to 38-60%. It can lead us to a sustainable and carbon-free future.
Economically, it can help countries that do not have crude oil plants to build their own fuel industries. It can help in diverse geographical locations to develop their own local supply chains. This will help in lifting the local economy of countries, offering more jobs to people.