Boeing Aims to Cut Carbon Emissions with Sustainable Aviation Fuel

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Boeing Co. plans to introduce renewable green diesel as a jet fuel to cut carbon emissions without increasing costs. The U.S. aircraft maker is seeking approval from regulators around the world to use this competitively priced, sustainable aviation fuel. Over its lifecycle, green diesel emits at least 50 percent lesser carbon dioxide compared to fossil fuels.

Green diesel can be used in any diesel engine. It is produced from oils and fats such as used cooking oil, waste animal fats or plant oils in a process that makes use of hydrogen to break down large molecules into smaller one. Green diesel differs from biodiesel, which is produced by a chemical reaction between vegetable oil and alcohol.

James Kinder, technical fellow in Boeing's Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems Division, said that the approval of green diesel would be a major breakthrough in the availability of earth-friendly aviation fuels. The wholesale cost of green diesel is similar to that of oil-based jet fuel and cheaper than other bio-fuels.

According to the researchers at Boeing, it is possible to blend green diesel with oil-based jet fuel. Proof, however, is needed to show that its dependability and efficiency are comparable with traditional fuel. At present, the aviation sector accounts for about two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This share will grow to three percent by 2050 in absence of any move to control emissions.

Boeing is working with green diesel producers, engine manufacturers, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to pave the way for the approval of this sustainable fuel as a jet fuel. Kinder said that the company is collaborating with its industry partners and the aviation community to promote this innovative solution and reduce the reliance of aviation industry on fossil fuels.

Existing green diesel production capacity in the U.S., Europe and Singapore could supply about 600 million gallons of this sustainable fuel annually to meet at least one percent of annual global commercial jet fuel demand.

Source: Reuters

Image Credit: Flickr via Gordon Werner