09 Sep 2022, 14:06
Edgar Meza

E-kerosene made with sustainable CO2 can make air traffic fossil free – report

Clean Energy Wire

Synthetic jet fuel, known as e-kerosene, made from green hydrogen and sustainable CO2 could make the aviation industry fossil-free by 2050, according to a report by the German Energy Agency (dena) in cooperation with Finland’s LUT University and energy consultancy Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST). More than 90 percent of the CO2 required to achieve this could be obtained from the air, the study found. It illustrates how much e-kerosene is needed in Europe, the US and worldwide in order to make the aviation sector completely fossil free by 2050. The Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology required for this represents a huge challenge, however. The report therefore calls for immediate political support to make the technology viable. Aviation is already turning to biokerosene and e-kerosene since other potential solutions, like batteries or hydrogen cells, are not effective. "Such analyses are important in order to quantify the energy transition in concrete terms,” said dena CEO Andreas Kuhlmann. “Direct air capture must play an important role in fossil-free aviation. But the challenge is enormous,“ Kuhlmann said, arguing the alternative would be “non-technological solutions,“ such as demand capping.  “We need to find the right balance between what is economically feasible and what is socially acceptable."The study found that by 2050, almost 60 percent of the fuel requirement will have to be covered by e-kerosene due to the limited availability of other alternative fuel sources. Furthermore, more than 90 percent of the CO2 requirement for e-kerosene production in 2050 must be covered by DAC.

The German government earlier this year launched a new push to make the country a leader in sustainable aviation, promising "a joint effort by industry, science, politics and society." Aviation’s share of emissions is on the rise as the sector recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and progress on low-emission flying has been slow. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) last year presented a strategy for future emission-free aviation, while the country’s aviation industry tabled a joint master plan to bring air transport more in line with climate protection

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