Animal fat, mustard seeds, garbage, and usedcooking oil.
are just some of the products being used tomake jet-fuel.
Airlines have been experimenting with biofuelsfor years.
But because of inconsistent investment, thelure of cheap oil, and high production costs.
Biofuels still account for less than 0.
1%of total aviation fuel consumption.
While airline efforts to ramp up biofuel usemay be delayed as they struggle to weather the global pandemic, environmental impactbecoming a top issue means more wide-spread use is likely to take place in the comingyears.
This is your Bloomberg Quicktake on aviationturning to biofuel.
In the past, the use of biofuels was usuallydriven by a lack of petrochemicals.
For example, in World War Two, there werefuel shortages in many countries as they couldn't import as they usually would.
This led to a lot of non oil producingcountries coming up with inventions to make fuel from resources that they did have, suchas grains or vegetables.
When the shortage ended, so did the interestin biofuels.
Global demand for biofuel rose when oil priceswere high.
When they came back down, so did the demandfor biofuel.
Nowadays, the motivation around biofuels ismore around environmental reasons.
Global warming is wreaking havoc on the planet, and aviation is among the worst polluters.
With about 10, 000 planes in the air at anygiven moment during normal times, they account for 3% of all carbon emissions.
One economy-class, round-trip flight fromNew York to London is all it takes to generate the same amount of carbon pollution as poweringevery lightbulb, phone, television, computer and kitchen appliance in the average American’shome for 2 months.
And it’s only going to get worse.
By 2038 the number of air passengers is setto double what it is now.
Marine sector, for example, or aviation haveall committed to reduce their carbon emissions.
And biofuels will play a key role for thoseindustries which have limited other alternatives.
You can't electrify an airplane as easilyas you can electrify a passenger car.
Batteries are not only extremely heavy, poweroutput and cooling systems would have to be improved for the requirements of taking offand landing.
Although electric-flight technology is intesting for small planes, progress on a larger scale will likely be measured in decades, not years.
Biofuels are generally made using chemicalreactions, fermentation, and heat to break down the starches, sugars, and other moleculesin plants.
The resulting products are then refined toproduce a fuel that vehicles can use.
Burning biofuel from renewable sources suchas waste oil, lumber, and algae produces less CO2 than fossil fuels.
So biofuels contain a lot fewer pollutantsin their chemical structure and therefore they burn cleaner.
And because plants absorb CO2 when they'regrowing, this offsets the carbon that's emitted when they're burned.
Next generation biofuels go a step furtherby making use of waste that humans already create.
One of the largest producers is Finnish oilgiant Neste, which supplies airlines and airports with fuel made from waste products such asfat or vegetable oil.
With a new refinery in Singapore on the way, Neste says it will have the capacity to produce over 1 million tons of sustainable aviationfuel by 2022.
Furthermore, governments and regulators arestarting to encourage the use of biofuel.
The International Air Transport Associationhas set a target for all airlines to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050.
Norway is even requiring airlines to use a0.
5% mixture of biofuel on all flights.
Which may not seem like a lot, but requirementsthat are too high can be counterproductive.
Because bio jet fuel is currently three tofour times more expensive than fossil jet fuel, airlines fueling in these countries that areenforcing blending mandates might be incentivized to carry more amounts of fuel so they don'thave to buy as much in those more expensive countries.
Carrying more fuel, makes your aircraft heavierand therefore could create more emissions.
And there are other hurdles: if scaled up, fuel made from waste productsmay not have enough supply to meet demand.
And not all biofuels are environmentally friendly.
If they’re made from products like corn, it can cost vast amounts of resources: water, land, and fertilizer that causes pollution.
It can lead to food price increases or deforestationto clear the land to grow these crops.
One example of this is for palm oil, whichhas led to deforestation in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
This is why it's important to keep developingnew technologies to diversify the feedstocks that we can use like agricultural residuesor municipal solid waste to make bio jet fuel.
For widespread use of jet biofuel, diversifyingfeedstocks along with government incentives to make biofuels cost competitive with fossilfuels is needed to finally hit carbon emissions targets.
Which experts say will ultimately reduce theaviation industry’s carbon footprint by up to 80%.