Crash landing for dream of ‘guilt-free flying’? Scientists find no clear green alternative to jet fuel

Posted: February 28, 2023 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, net zero, Travel

London’s Heathrow airport

The four leading alternatives, from biomass to hydrogen, are expensive and/or would require huge imports or swathes of farmland, we’re told. Another fail for climate obsessives it seems. Is Plan B – choking off demand – on the fanatics’ drawing board yet?
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The quest for guilt-free flying may have been knocked off course by a broad study that has concluded there is “no clear or single net zero alternative to jet fuel”, reports Sky News.

The four most viable alternatives “offer some carbon savings but are not ideal”, according to the review by the Royal Society academy of scientists.

Replacing jet fuel with biomass, for example, would require half the UK’s farmland just to sustain current passenger levels.

But the government is planning for levels to soar by 70% by 2050, representing an additional 200 million passengers.

Switching to sustainable fuel is key to its “jet zero” strategy to turn aviation green, which it touts as a plan to offer “guilt-free flying”.

Flying is responsible for 8% of UK emissions and around 2.4% globally, and also releases other forms of pollution.

The lack of alternatives makes the carbon intensive industry one of the hardest to decarbonise as the world works towards net zero emissions by 2050.

“The requirements for an alternative to jet fuel, to kerosene, is energy density, has to be sufficient to sustain short and long haul flights, it must be produced globally at scale, it must be cost-competitive and it must be implementable by 2050,” said Professor Graham Hutchings, chair of the report’s working group.

Other options, such as hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels require a massive increase in renewable energy production, or are expensive or require substantial modifications to existing aircraft.

Producing enough green hydrogen – which is created by splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen with renewably generated electricity – would require more than doubling or tripling the UK’s renewable capacity.

A fuel from biomass can be used in the same aircraft engine but there are concerns about its sustainability.

Full report here.

  1. MrGrimNasty says:

    But the RAF is trying, if only they could stop fuel filters clogging with the extra crispy bits.

  2. oldbrew says:

    An example of the problem:

    The UK is “highly reliant” on importing raw material for biofuel, known as feedstocks, with 423 million litres of used cooking oil imported from China alone in 2021.

    Converting waste from the 250 million litres of vegetable oil produced in the UK would produce only 0.3 to 0.6% of the UK’s annual jet fuel needs. — Sky News.

  3. brianrlcatt says:

    This was always obvious. The cost of Hydrogen makes it a non starter, never mind the risks. The simple problem of getting off the ground makes batteries a complete non starter for all but the shortest range aircraft – they cannot land at their take off weight, Jumbos need to use/burn 100 tonnes or so to land. Of course the weight loss as you go also helps range. Making a study of the blindingly bleeding obvious is always going to have the same answer. A couple of envelopes , a calculator and an understanding of physics and engineering will suffice.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Guilt-free flying is already here. Just say no to climate brainwashing.

  5. ivan says:

    The question they never ask is ‘why should people feel guilty because of flying, after all all the green-leaders all do it without thinking about it (see all those attending the COP jam feasts) after all if they do it without worrying why should we?’

    The other side of the coin is all that lovely CO2 going into the atmosphere to help green the planet and provide food for all.

  6. saighdear says:

    The other INside of the coin is all that lovely CO2 going into the atmosphere to help green the planet and provide MORE fertiliser for Bio-fuel plants. NO Plants, no Bio-fuel. what else ?

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    the fadists ALWAYS act on feelz, never on researched facts and science. Any facts that get in the way of their dream world are trashed as misinformation (nowadays). Their dream world is a religion and they act accordingly. Many of them are convinced the planet is in dire danger from the Satanic Gases. That is aided and abetted by the hungry mob of academic rent seekers.

    For some time now I’ve been predicting odd/even driving days, emergency lockdowns based on some fake/pseudo “science” much like the covid lies. Airports will be placed under federal atmospheric control. Overall flights will be reduced by law and no-fly days enacted from time to time.

    Climate catastrophe is going to be used as “Covid V2.0” for taking away our freedoms again. More small businesses will be sacrificed of course. Personal transportation will be eliminated. Etc. Welcome to the NWO/WEF vision of the future.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Pie in the sky…

    Aviation biofuel would need half of UK agricultural land, report says
    The Royal Society said a portfolio of alternative fuels will be required to meet current passenger demand and achieve net zero.
    — 1 day ago

  9. oldbrew says:

    Plan B…

    Airlines sue Dutch government over flight cuts

    Five airlines are suing the Dutch government over plans to cut the number of flights operating from Europe’s third-busiest airport.

    The government cited local concerns at Amsterdam Schiphol about the impact of flying on noise pollution and climate in its decision.

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