June , 2022
The aviation industry is setting carbon-free goals
12:05 pm

Pritha Misra

Increasing global warming is a matter of concern. After the great initiatives taken by the automobile industry to switch to electric vehicles for lowering carbon emission, the aviation industry is also gearing up to follow the same path. It has announced its goal of becoming carbon-neutral in the near future.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union Civil Aviation Minister has been lately focusing on how to make Indian airports as carbon free as soon as possible. This will also be a step forward for India to be a responsible country in the international civil aviation society. Discarding carbon in every possible way will include optimum utilization of green fuel as well as hydrogen.

The aviation industry contributes nearly 3% of the worldwide carbon dioxide emission. Though the figure looks small, the contribution is harmful for the rapidly rising phenomenon of global warming. Hence, the industry is making tight plans to achieve net zero emission by 2050. This is a big challenge before the industry because travelling miles within an hour without emitting any greenhouse gas will need a lot of innovation and focus. The major step that needs to be taken to curb greenhouse gas emission is to change aviation fuel. The most prominent way of switching to fuel alternatives is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This is made from renewable sources like plants, biomass, waste resources and already-used cooking oil. This has the capacity of providing almost the same service as petroleum-based airways. According to intensive research and study, SAF is capable of reducing emission by 80%.

However, there are a number of drawbacks. Firstly, the production of SAF in huge quantities requires large funding. Due to its high cost, it is still not used widely though some airlines have already started mixing small amounts of SAF with fuel so as to minimize pollution. Apart from the issue of cost, there also remains a glitch with functioning of the petroleum-based engines. Petroleum being an oily substance helps to lubricate the machine parts and contributes to a smooth-running process. In the case of SAF, there is doubt whether it can provide the same facilities.

Among other ways of getting rid of carbon emission, apart from SAF, there is the technology of Direct Air Capture (DAC).  It is responsible for sucking off all amount of carbon dioxide present in the air and depositing it underground. The US airline is the first one to have plans of using this technology. Other airlines are expected to get encouraged from this decision. But this again needs huge expense as hundreds of dollars will be needed to just remove one ton of carbon dioxide from the air.

The aviation industry is slowly bouncing back after the loss caused by the pandemic. Though the industry is accepting new technologies, going completely carbon-free is still a far cry for them.




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