Sustainable Aviation Fuel: A Path To A Greener Future

Aircraft wing and engine during refueling Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is gaining traction in the world of aviation. The negative impacts of climate change are mounting quickly. Aircrafts today are powered by jet fuel sourced from fossil fuels. The aviation industry is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions all transport sources.
Sustainable Aviation Fuels are already in use in some commercial flights. More than 225,000 flights have been powered by SAFs since it was certified back in 2011.
With the global growth in air travel, some airlines are investing not only in more fuel-efficient aircrafts. But also into alternative fuels and aspiring to reach carbon neutrality.
The aviation industry is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gasses. In 2018, commercial aviation emitted around 8% more greenhouse gasses compared to the previous year. If left unchecked, these emissions are projected to increase by 300% by 2050; this growth is not sustainable. The use of SAFs is the best way to mitigate the impact of aviation on the environment.

What Is Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

SAFs are derived from renewable natural sources, such as waste, used cooking oil, sustainable plantation, algae, and many more. SAFs offer economic opportunities, job creation, environmental improvement and can even improve aircraft health and performance. Due to the reduced harmful components such as Sulfur.

Why Use Sustainable Aviation Fuels?

The properties of SAF are almost identical to conventional jet fuel. They are known as ‘drop-in-fuels’; which means they can be used in the existing fueling machinery. Without any modifications to aircrafts, engines or fuel systems.
The use of SAFs provides a significant 80% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to fossil fuels while accounting for the emissions created during production. However, the cost of SAFs is currently around 2 times or more of the cost of the traditional fossil fuel.
With improvement in manufacturing technologies and mass adoption of SAFs. Both the CO2 reduction and cost of production are expected to improve significantly. This will make SAFs more competitive with traditional jet fuel. And a great way to transition the aviation industry into a greener future.

Future of SAF

There are positive initiatives by airlines that provide passengers with the option to fund the use of SAFs. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your ticket. But, governments need to step in and create the right policies to accelerate the growth of SAFs. Which requires a long term plan to reduce investment risks, a focus on research and development and improving SAF production technologies.
The need to transition into a sustainable future is growing every day. SAFs offer to ‘clean-up’ the aviation industry into a green, renewable future. The adoption of SAFs in the aviation industry might take time. But cheaper jet fuels, efficient aircrafts and commitment to the environment offers a road-map to a future of sustainable flying.
Want to learn more about fuel prices? Check out our previous article here.