The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is predicting record-breaking travel this holiday season, with over 30 million passengers expected to pass through U.S. airports between November 17 and December 25. This is a significant increase from last year when TSA screened 25 million passengers during the same period. And as we become more sustainably conscience people are thinking about SAF.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a type of fuel that is produced from renewable or waste-based sources, such as biomass, algae, and municipal solid waste. SAF can be used to power aircraft and has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.
Why is SAF such a hot topic right now?
Aviation is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As the global population grows and demand for air travel increases, these emissions are expected to rise. SAF is one of the most promising solutions for reducing aviation emissions.
SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel. It can also be used to reduce other harmful pollutants, such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.
How is SAF produced?
There are several different ways to produce SAF. Some common methods include:
- Feedstock-based SAF: This type of SAF is produced from renewable or waste-based biomass, such as vegetable oil, algae, or municipal solid waste. The biomass is processed into a liquid fuel that can be used to power aircraft.
- Synthetic SAF: This type of SAF is produced using a chemical process that converts captured carbon dioxide and hydrogen into liquid fuel. Synthetic SAF is still in the early stages of development, but it has the potential to be a very low-carbon fuel source.
What are the challenges of using SAF?
There are many challenges to using SAF, including:
- Cost: SAF is currently much more expensive than conventional jet fuel. This is due to the high cost of production and the limited availability of feedstocks.
- Production capacity: The current production capacity for SAF is very limited. This would need to be increased significantly to meet the demand for SAF if it were to be widely adopted.
- Sustainability: Some feedstocks used to produce SAF, such as palm oil, have been linked to deforestation and other environmental problems. It is important to use feedstocks that are sustainably produced.
Despite these challenges, there is a lot of excitement about the potential of SAF to reduce aviation emissions. A number of airlines and governments have committed to increasing their use of SAF, and there is a growing investment in SAF research and development.
Here are some links to learn more about SAF:
- Sustainable Aviation Fuel: Safe, Reliable, Low Carbon: https://www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/sustainable-aviation-fuel-grand-challenge
- What is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and why is it important?: https://www.bp.com/en/global/air-bp/aviation-fuel/sustainable-aviation-fuel.html
- Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) – ICAO: https://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/pages/SAF.aspx
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.