Air Fair?

With aviation emerging from its COVID slumber, planemakers and airlines are back to facing criticism for their CO2 emissions. Bella Richards asks how far away sustainable fuels are, and whether Australia’s sugar industry could provide an answer

AS THE industry recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, one large concern still remains: sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Consumers for years have pressured airlines to transition to alternative fuels to reduce the transport carbon footprint, and now the urge has only gotten stronger as companies fight for their customers back after the largest travel slump in history. Bioenergy Australia, the agency pioneering in SAF accessibility claims Australia is overflowing with the most effective stock for creating SAF; sugar, and there is vast opportunity for the industry to accelerate sustainability efforts to gain consumer trust yet again. 

SAF is considered a biofuel, or an alternative to common kerosene fuel that most aircraft fly. Common jet fuel contributes a significant amount of carbon emissions (CO2) into the air and the International Air Transport Association considers SAF to be a key element in reducing aviation’s environmental impact globally. It is produced from sustainable feedstocks, such as cooking oil, non-palm waste oils from animals and plants, solid waste from packaging, textiles, and food scraps. Ultimately, not only does it reduce our carbon footprint, but repurposes waste that would normally go to landfill. 

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