Biofuels in Aviation. By: Dima Richards Per. 1. Thesis. Aviation should convert to using biofuels because it will reduce usage of our limited oil supply.
Biofuels in Aviation
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Aviation should convert to using biofuels because it will reduce usage of our limited oil supply.
There are many ways that we can make biofuels for aviation, but using algae is the most ideal. It’s easy to produce, and it has the potential to reduce greenhouse gasses from the surrounding atmosphere
Use in Aviation
Planes in the US use over 20 billion gallons of fuel a year. That’s over 54 million gallons per day.
Biofuels will reduce the usage of our oil supply.
There are two types of biofuels, ethanol and biodiesel. Aircraft require biodiesel.
What are Biofuels?
A biofuel is a liquid fuel that is produced by using organic materials and plants.
Ethanol is made from
Biodiesel is made from
Why use biofuels in aviation?
Oil is getting more expensive and harder to get.
Aviation accounts for over 20% of our oil use.
Biofuels could reduce the impact aviation has on our oil use.
An Airbus A380 can hold up to 82,000 gallons of fuel. In order to produce all that fuel, we’ll need a biofuel that produces more than the others.
Algae vs. other biofuels
“Algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel” (WorldWatch Institute).
According to the WorldWatch Institute, one acre of algae can produce 5,000 gallons of fuel a year, while an acre of soybeans can produce only 70 gallons per year.
Algae is more environmentally friendly because it’s easy to grow and helps the environment by reducing carbon from the atmosphere and nitrogen from water.
Where will farms producing algae be built?
Like all plants, algae is good for the environment. It reduces carbon emissions from the atmosphere and it’s easy to care for. Therefore the farms producing algae would be built by power plants to reduce the carbon from the air around the plant.
Because the US uses 20 billion gallons of aviation fuel per year, and an acre of algae produces 5 thousand gallons per year, that means we’ll need about 4 million acres of algae farms scattered around the country specifically for aviation proposes.
It is difficult to regulate the conditions of the pond used for producing algae (temperature, contaminants).
Biofuels from algae are expensive to make.
Algae biofuel production has not been proven to work on a large scale
Because 4 million acres are needed just for aviation fuel it will be hard to find the space for algae farms (especially near power plants).
Overall, algae is the best solution to our oil shortage. Not only does it give us fuel for aircraft, cars, and other vehicles, it also is good for the environment. It’s very easy to make and it reduces carbon emissions from the atmosphere.
Algae might be our solution to the oil shortage and it might be the solution to carbon emissions as well.
The aviation industry is already starting to experiment with biofuels.
Recent Biofuel Uses
Feb 2008 Virgin Atlantic flew first biofuel test from London to Amsterdam in a Boeing 747 using coconut oil.
November 2011Alaska & Horizon Air converted 75 flights to run on 20% used cooking oil
March 2013 KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) flew a 777 from New York to Amsterdam on used cooking oil.