What is sustainable fuel and why should you care?

All over the world, travelers are choosing the most environmentally friendly ways to get around. According to a recent Business Insider study, about 40% of travelers say they would like to take short but long trips if it helps reduce their environmental impact.

It was further reported that 40% would be happy to stay in a “more desirable but greener hotel”, and 1 in 3 prefer to take public transportation. This is especially true for the younger generations, with 93% of Gen Z-ers and 89% of millennials saying they are willing to change their travel itinerary for the betterment of the environment.

The travel industry itself is in the process of creating a continuous tour. And while many technologies and innovations are emerging to help achieve this goal, there is nothing better than fuel for air travel. Also known as “sustainable aviation fuel” or “SAF”, it is one of the biggest goals for the aviation industry. Let’s dig into what it means and why it can make such a big difference.

plane at the airport

A little bit of the back

We all know that climate change is a problem – even more anthropogenic climate change. The Theory of Anthropogenic Climate Change believes that humans will make the most dramatic changes to our climate by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. The consequences of this have been widely discussed. If we could reach 1.5 degrees of warming above the first levels of the industry, our planet would be shaken by serious events that threaten life on Earth.

Global warming is responsible for about 8% of global warming gas emissions, with emissions accounting for about 50%. Currently, the airline relies on conventional aircraft fuels that are heavily based on oil. Airplane fuel, in its natural form, is carbon-intensive because it is based on hydrocarbons. That’s why airlines around the world promise to go carbon-free and reach their net-zero capacity by 2050.

IATA, for example, has pledged to jump to net-zero by 2050 and outlined a number of steps it plans to take to achieve this goal. British Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, Lufthansa, and many other airlines were taken to fulfill their own pledges as well.

If the air travel industry wants to achieve these goals, it needs to change the use of these aircraft fuels. But how can they do so? There are currently only 3 options:

  • Using hydrogen. The problem with this is that it doesn’t have the technology for it right now – it doesn’t work with conventional jet engines. That’s why the huge costs associated with time and R&D have to rethink how jet engines work to be compatible with hydrogen.
  • Go electric. This kind of work faces the same problems as hydrogen – we’re not there in the form of technology development that can support electric aircraft. That’s not to say it won’t be available in the future.
  • SAF. The great thing about this is that because these engines needed little development, they are used in airplanes today. There is research, technology, and development now for us to use – which means we can quickly access 100% SAF -powered planes. It will lead to a faster reduction of 80% compared to traditional jet fuels.

Turbine melting engine

So what is the SAF?

Aircraft fuel continues to be jet fuel that uses organic fuels to make oil. Why is it a good thing? If you remember what we learned in biology class in school, you will see that oil comes from millions and millions of years of organic matter that progresses through heat and pressure. . It’s not a straightforward result and lasts for a long time.

But the SAF is different. Sustainable foodstuffs can be used directly as fuel, and in the case of SAF can be anything from cooking oil, vegetable oil, domestic waste, waste gases. , and agricultural residues. The good thing about it is that you can grow the plants that are needed for SAF to work, which means taking carbon dioxide from the air when they grow. This creates a “carbon lifecycle” that makes fuel, burns, and is then eaten by plants!

How long are we on the road?

Aircraft from around the world are committed to fully utilizing the SAF to complete 100% of aircraft by 2050. However in the short term, it is likely that they could reach 20% SAF utilization by 2030. That’s because it’s a very complex product and in a minute the first case is that it’s more expensive than fossil jet fuel.

We are now where the SAF’s resources will be greatly increased so that it can be repaired. In 2019, for example, global fuel consumption reached its peak at 95 billion gallons. However, annual SAF production will be around 60 million gallons by 2020, likely to rise to 72 million gallons as new SAF equipment enters the market. While this is a good thing going up, it is not enough to meet global demands and turn us into an SAF flight.

However, that level of demand will drive innovation and lower the cost – we are seeing a kind of cyclic mindset where we need the SAF but in order to be affordable, it needs to be. it is to investment and demand.

There are two ways in which the SAF can leave the ground and become a renewable fuel in air transport:

  1. With a top-down style – where the government mandates increased use of the SAF for aircraft in a fixed period of time to reduce CO2 emissions
  2. With the way down – where users and other stakeholders learn about the environmental and commercial benefits the SAF requires to be used for commercial aircraft (and later, cargo and transport ). This path is gaining traction, with organizations such as Imperial College London’s Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation receiving a £ 25 million philanthropic grant to continue to develop clean, safe, and sustainable air travel.

And it’s not uncommon for the prices of something better for the environment to fall due to interest and demand. Renewable energy is very expensive and now solar power prices have fallen by 16%, with wind power falling by between 9%and 13%. Although the total power of the sun has dropped by about 85%. Just showing that when people put their mind into innovation, anything is possible!

A window into the future

Of course, there is no way to know exactly how and when we can roll out the use of other fuels or biofuels. What we do know is that this is an important step in achieving real sustainability in the travel industry.

I wasn’t at the peak where I met with CEO Wright Electric – a U.S. government -backed company that is trying to develop electric motors for aircraft. He hoped they would have electric planes in the years to come. It’s a huge game changer in reducing the carbon footprint of the travel sector and reaching our net-zero emissions targets.

My two cents on the subject are that I believe in the SAF, and in a way, not just electric planes in the future – it’s the future. SAF is a low carbon fuel, reducing carbon emissions by 80% compared to the air fuels we use. I think this is a first step in having a sustainable journey because it doesn’t need any further research and development. There is technology and equipment for the SAF that is used in commercial aircraft – and as I said above, many aircraft have already used it in some way. With less time and increasing demand from users, this will become the norm.

That is to say, in my opinion, the next step for the SAF is to use electric aircraft instead of hydrogen-powered aircraft. The entire transportation is seeing a shift in electric power, with cars running from petrol to electricity and trains following the same path. That’s why air travel looks that way.

I don’t think we’re ready for hydrogen at this point right now. Between the difficulties of making the fountain in the first place and the negative comments about the Hindenburg flight, I think we have a long way to go before it becomes a viable option.

What can tourists and tour operators do to reduce their current carbon footprint?

There are many things you can do to make the trip a business trip or fun until you get into the SAF. For example, you could:

How about carbon offsetting?

Yes, tourists and tour operators (or, the person who arranges and arranges trips of any kind) can consider carbon emissions as a viable option. It wasn’t the right result, but it was the best thing we had until the SAF and the advanced travel technologies were available.

Of course, people all over the world are not aware of carbon emissions for a number of reasons – from inaccuracies to fixes to fixations. However, in principle, carbon offsetting works because one can be part of a global investigation to regulate global warming gas emissions. The idea is that each group or individual can help complete the projects and help reduce carbon emissions regardless of their location or status. This is something approved by IATA with its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) scheme, and it is something we at TravelPerk also offer our customers.

With GreenPerk, TravelPerk customers can spend 100% of their travel business on their carbon footprint. At only ~ 0.9% of the total cost of each trip, we invest in VERRA -certified carbon emissions programs on behalf of our client who specializes in forestry, biogas capture, and more. new energy to name another. We also developed the GreenPerk API, an open API for companies to understand where and how they emit carbon when they travel for business. Then they can use this data to help them reach their net-zero goals.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.