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 Green fuel’s role in the future of aviation infographic
Graphic charts SAF’s part in a greener aviation future.
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AVIATION

“SAF” fuel flight highlights aviation’s greener future

By Ninian Carter

November 28, 2023 - The first transatlantic flight powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel, made from sources like crops, household waste and cooking oil, highlights its potential use in a greener aviation industry.

The first transatlantic flight powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has been flown by a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York.

The ground-breaking move, endorsed by the British Government – UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper was onboard, along with Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss – draws attention to the aviation industry’s attempt to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a drive for a greener future.

However, the realities are somewhat different, with SAF unlikely to replace standard aviation fuel in the long term, due to it being unavailable in large enough quantities to make a real impact.

Instead, SAF is seen as part of a sustained approach to reducing emissions, together with fuel efficiency gains made through improved technology and the introduction of electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

SAF can be made from cooking oil and other non-palm waste oils from animals or plants, solid waste from homes and businesses, such as packaging, paper, textiles and food scraps.

Planes using SAF still emit CO2, but Virgin Atlantic says the emissions of these fuels can be up to 70% lower, when considering the whole lifecycle of the fuel.

The most optimistic forecast sees SAF being used in small amounts, blended with traditional jet fuel, possibly reducing overall CO2 emissions by 23% by 2050.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 28/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News
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