Carbon neutral flights

Good morning #EUROAVIAns, in today’s Fact Friday we talk about Carbon-neutral flights (CO2 neutral). 

In recent years, due to the growing attention to climate problems, airlines are also trying to change things into greener aviation. One of the terms mostly used these days is “carbon-neutral flights”, but what does it mean? 

Carbon neutrality means to have a balance between the carbon emissions and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. The systems that allow to absorb carbon are called sinks. These could be fields of soil, forests, and oceans but these systems have a limit of absorption, so we need to look to reduce emissions or other ways to capture them. That’s where airlines come into play. 

Credit: Tomás Del Coro (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Some airlines are moving into biofuels, which allow to reduce emissions from 20% up to 98%. Biofuels are alternative fuels that come from vegetable oil, airlines like: KLM, Lufthansa, United, Qantas are some of the airlines that have already moved some of their flights into a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Some airlines as United, are investing into Direct Air Capture, which is a technology that captures CO2 from the air, traps them into a non-toxic liquid solution that goes through some chemical processes to finally be pumped into the ground where it’s sequestered permanently or reused in the future. Also, some airlines are investing into environmental projects to increase the carbon sinks around the world. 

Other solutions, in which airline manufacturers are doing research are on are new technologies, like electricity or hydrogen fueled aircraft.