Skip to main content

Green vs. Greenhouse Effects

A U. S. House of Representatives’ panel met with airline industry and biofuel representatives to discuss a topic of growing interest: transitioning to more sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) or biofuels.  These sustainable energy sources or biofuels, which are more environmentally friendly, are produced from biomass consisting of plant oils, animal fat, used cooking oil, algae, and animal waste. 

The U. S. government is pushing the airline industry hard to decarbonize and switch to cleaner energy sources (biofuels) by offering substantial incentives, such as an expanded blender’s tax credit and increased tax benefits, which will encourage production and usage and lower production costs. 

Biofuels and bio-products are expensive to process.  Plants are harvested, and then scientists break down and convert the plant cells into renewable fuels or chemicals.  Rather than waiting a million years for nature to change plants into fossil fuels, scientists are speeding up the process by making biofuel from plants that are alive today.

 The benefits of alternative fuel sources are huge, primarily because they do not add CO2 to the atmosphere, and they can be renewed when supplies run low.  Globally, air travel accounts for two percent of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The U. S. is not alone in transitioning to sustainable fuel solutions.  IAG (owner of British Airways) and the European Union have set a goal for switching to 10 percent SAF usage by 2030.  Japan Airlines, United, KLM, Air France and dozens more are flying commercial test flights with blended SAFs to be able to set target goals for integrating more biofuels by the next decade.