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Greener Airplane Fuel Is Here, and We’re Going to Need Lots More

  • Sustainable jet fuel from waste oils, trash emits less carbon
  • Ticket prices could go up as industry makes transition
British Airways operated what was billed as a “carbon neutral” flight in September between London and Glasgow, with an Airbus A320neo powered by sustainable aviation fuel.

British Airways operated what was billed as a “carbon neutral” flight in September between London and Glasgow, with an Airbus A320neo powered by sustainable aviation fuel.

Source: British Airways
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Major airlines have committed to eliminating their net carbon emissions by 2050 even as they expect a fivefold increase in annual global passengers over the same period.  

To meet that ambitious goal, they’ve touted the potential of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, a product that is chemically identical to kerosene but more environmentally friendly. Until technologies such as batteries or clean-burning hydrogen are commercially viable for powering large aircraft, which could take decades, SAF is the industry’s best option for getting greener.