Plant residues , hydrogen, ammonia ... The race ' green ' in the sky to decarbonise aviation

Aviation , one of the most polluting industries , extreme efforts to reduce environmental impact . It does so with traffic management and m

Plant
 residues
,
 hydrogen,
 ammonia
 ...
 The race
 '
green
'
 in the sky to
 decarbonise
 aviation

Aviation , one of the most polluting industries , extreme efforts to reduce environmental impact . It does so with traffic management and more sustainable maneuvers , but its Achilles heel is the fuel . Aircraft use kerosene and alternative fuels are not produced by the time in sufficient quantities , they are more expensive and therefore are not accessible to one of the most polluting sectors .

In the climate summit of nations , COP26 , a British airline has introduced a technology that it says could allow flights with zero carbon emissions Working with liquid ammonia to 2030. Its aim is to build reactors that allow existing aircraft I modified to store liquid ammonia obtained from hydrogen instead of kerosene .

The aviation sector is responsible for 3% of CO2 emissions that are expelled in the atmosphere, as well as the maritime. In spite of this, an airplane today consumes 80% less fuel than 80 years ago. Neutral emissions at 2050 have been proposed as a target in 2050 and a roadmap that passes by finding an alternative propulsion to kerosene, such as electric aircraft or through hydrogen. Airbus has a project to launch aircraft powered by hydrogen in 2035.

On the other hand , we want to encourage biofuels ( Saf , its acronym in English ) , which would allow a reduction of up to 80 % of emissions on a path airline. This is one of the main roads . "It is a solution that already exists , so the short term is the way that advances in the decarbonization of the airline industry ," explained from ALA , the Association AIRLINE , which represents 80 % of companies operating in Spain .

Plus it is a solution that already exists , can use 50% of this fuel along with conventional , kerosene . The problem is that there is little production and are up to three times more expensive. We should also reduce the gap price of these fuels compared to traditional .

In Spain already they are made the first tests with green fuels in aviation. Earlier this week , Iberia has operated the first flight included a fuel comprised 2% by biojet produced from plant residues . The airline is well ahead three years after the legislation requiring the aim of mixing 2% in 2025 , time after which progressively increase every five years to reach 63 % by 2050 .

Repsol has turned to the production of these new fuels adapting the capacity of the five refineries operating in Spain and raising additional new production centers in Bilbao and Cartagena. The aim of the group is positioning itself as a leader in this new green race for the dominion of the heavens . " There are very few plants producing sustainable fuels for aviation ( SAF , its acronym in English ) worldwide and today the little installed capacity is used to make biofuels for land mobility. In fact , there are currently very few companies they have announced the production of biojet in Europe and Repsol can say that we are among the pioneers , "says Berta Hair, senior manager Transformation Repsol Refinery .

The first of the lot manufactured by the company in the Petronor refinery consists of 5,300 tons of fuel and will avoid the emission of 300 tons of CO to the atmosphere, the equivalent of 40 Madrid-Bilbao flights. It is just a beginning, since the energy company aspires to reach a production of two million tons of biofuels by 2030.

In the same vein , Spain led between 2012 and 2016 a European pilot project to test the use of camelina oil as biofuel , but its limitations reduced production contracts between producers and European airlines to 1,500 tons in 2017 .

Biojet is the only one in the race for the decarbonization of heaven. Ammonia , green hydrogen, synthetic fuels ... all seek their niche taking advantage of the difficulty of the electrification of the airline industry . "Aviation requires a multienergética solution to meet its energy demand , both on land and in the air where electrification presents difficulties ," says Cabello. What will be the big winner ? "It's too early to determine ," says Cabello.

Updated Date: 09 November 2021, 00:48

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