Today’s airplanes -- and the carbon dioxide they produce -- aren’t a good fit with the clean energy future envisioned to fight global warming. Last year, even with Covid-19 travel restrictions, more than 1.5 billion barrels of aviation fuel were burned, a figure set to more than triple by 2050 as more people take to the skies. Today, that fuel is almost exclusively petroleum-based, but the airline industry is backing a potential solution that means we can all travel without “flying shame.” It’s called sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF for short. Right now though, it’s extremely expensive and there isn’t enough being used to make any meaningful impact on emissions.
There are two main types: