The way we think about planes will come to change sooner or later, particularly in terms of the resources needed to fly them. Big things are on the horizon right now in Europe, where the current plan is to make planes run on animal fat and vegetable oil. That’s a rather ambitious goal, to say the least, even though the approach is more than valid.
Different Fuel Sources for European Planes
The way things work now, airplanes require a lot of kerosene to be operated. This situation is no longer sustainable, as these planes emit toxic air and have a direct impact on climate change. Replacing this traditional fuel with a longer-lasting alternative is of the utmost importance. More specifically, renewable energy sources are the best course of action, although animal fat and vegetable oil are more than suitable solutions for the time.
When we will see those changes remains to be determined. However, it seems change is coming to Europe far more quickly than anywhere else in the world. Various planes across the European continent will soon run on renewable fuel in an effort to tackle climate change. It is unclear how much of an impact these ventures will have, but the effort deserves to be applauded, for obvious reasons.
The first site where the new fueling method will be implemented is Geneva Airport. Reports indicate this airport will experiment with these renewable fuel sources as early as next year. It will not have a big impact on passengers, though, as no delays or additional fees will be introduced. Planes will continue to run as smoothly as ever, and it is expected that engine performance will actually be improved upon. This latter point will be pretty interesting to keep an eye on, as it remains to be seen how viable that outcome actually is.
Assuming this venture proves successful, it may very well only be a matter of time until we see similar ventures in other European cities as well. In this regard, Geneva Airport could create a blueprint for other airports to follow. Ten hub airports have already inquired about implementing similar infrastructures, which further confirms Europe wants to get rid of kerosene altogether.
For the time being, Geneva Airport will limit its renewable fuel efforts to 1% of all fuel consumption starting in 2018. The goal is to increase this percentage moving forward, although it may take a few decades before any noteworthy global impact is recorded. An experiment with the same new fuel sources was conducted by Lufthansa several years ago. Contrary to what most people expected at the time, the approach worked extremely well and yielded results which far exceeded all parties’ expectations.
It is evident sustainable fuels are slowly making inroads all over the world. While airplanes running on renewable fuel may be a bridge too far right now, a lot can change between now and the end of next year. It will be a very interesting story worth keeping an eye on, to say the very least. We do need to find solutions to address climate change and global warming, and reducing CO2 output is definitely the best course of action right now.