Unformatted Attachment Preview
Biofuels in Aviation: PROJECT REPORT
Name : Abdulaziz Alrashdi
This project will investigate the possible use of biofuels as a replacement for current jet
fuels. All means of transport depend on fuel for operation, the use of fuel for the
operation of engines is an essential part of the movement of vehicles but for each fuel
there are many hazards. Aviation has a crucial role to play in reducing carbon emissions.
The reduction in emissions will come from new aircraft and engine technology, as well as
use of sustainable aviation fuels and aviation policy, according to industry group
Sustainable Aviation. The fuel has a huge impact not only on the performance of the
aircraft, but also on the cost and environmental damage associated with aviation,
depending on the aircraft kind and size. At the same time, fuel purchases have an impact
on the cost of running airlines, and therefore cutting the cost of fuels is something that
many airlines are always aiming for.
The number of commercial aircraft in operation could double to 48,000 planes worldwide
by 2038. (Adams, 2019), which increases fuel and emissions problems.
“Climate change is a clear and pressing issue for people, businesses and governments
across the world,” said Neil Robinson, chair of Sustainable Aviation. We know aviation
emissions will increase if decisive action is not taken, and that’s why UK aviation today
commits to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, through an international
approach, working with governments around the world and through the UN.
This means there is a need for alternatives to the jet fuels currently being used to protect
the atmosphere and achieve high efficiency.
This report focuses on the possibility of biofuels in the aviation industry. For the industry
to really adopt biofuels, then these are issues which have to be addressed by all relevant
stakeholders. This is the reason why a large number of researchers have concentrated
efforts into understanding them so as to create a pathway towards more sustainable fuel
for the aviation industry. This review looks into these various matters.
I researched each of the specifications and recorded the sources of information in a
This report summarizes the findings for each of the specifications considered when
researching the qualities of biofuel.
1. Accessibility and Availability of Biofuels.
Access to basic materials for the manufacture of biofuels from cooking oils is an
important element, various studies that look into this matter have been conducted: The
use of clean energy sources including biodiesel is crucial. (Zahan, 2018) (Hassan and
Abul kalam 2013). But a complete substitution of petroleum derived fuels by biofuel is
impossible from the production capacity and engine compatibility point of view. (Hassan
&Abul kalam, 2013). Shalaby's study differs, in 2010 worldwide biofuel production
reached 105 billion litres (28 billion gallons US), up 17% from 2009, and biofuels
provided 2.7% of the world's fuels for road transport, a contribution largely made up of
ethanol and biodiesel. Also Nunez says that global biofuel output needs to triple by 2030
in order to meet the International Energy Agency's targets for sustainable growth.
(National Geographic, 2019)
The efficiency of biofuels for use in aviation is another critical factor that many experts
in the field have concentrated their efforts on. British Airways, while buying up more
fuel-efficient aircraft, has promised to offset its domestic flights from this year, as well as
investing $400m in biofuels. )Adams, 2020)
Several test flights have been done which contain blends of the fuel with conventional jet
fuel, revealing that the performance is comparable. According to the British fuel site
Beesley, HVO is a synthetic paraffinic biofuel that can be used as a drop-in replacement
for regular diesel and gas oil. With zero fossil additives, it has significant greener
credentials, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.
3. Costs and Affordability
Due to projected growth of the aviation industry, the U.S Department of Energy reports
there are many important drivers to the development of alternative jet fuels, including
domestic energy security, diversity of fuel supplies, less fuel price volatility, and lower
long-term fuel cost. (U.S Department of Energy, 2017)
The problems of affordability can be solved by using low-cost feedstocks such as nonedible oils and waste cooking oils for biodiesel production. (Demirbas, 2016) and the
important aspect that makes biofuels an attractive alternative to the conventional biofuels
is the fact that it has the potential of reducing costs of an air ticket.
4. CO2 Content
“Aviation has a crucial role to play in reducing carbon emissions, and with the help of
new technologies, renewable fuels and our continued international co-operation through
the UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, we’ll be able to strike that
balance, creating a greener and cleaner future." ( BBC’s Today programme)
The UK aviation industry has pledged to cut carbon emissions to zero in the next 30
years. Aviation industry executives from airlines and airports will commit to cut carbon
emissions from 30 million tonnes of CO2 to zero by 2050. (Adams, 2020)
Yusuff and others state that biodiesel produced from waste frying oil (WFO) have been
blended with petroleum diesel in three different proportions (B20, B50 and B80), and the
dual fuels were tested on compression ignition engine to evaluate their emission
characteristics. Blending the diesel with appropriate volume of biodiesel not only
improves its quality but also lowers greenhouse gases emission. (Yusuff & others, 2018).
Transport Secretary of the UK Government Grant Shapps said, In a report called
Decarbonisation Road-Map “The fight against climate change is one of the greatest
challenges facing the modern world, but the aviation sector’s commitment today is a huge
step forward in creating a greener future (Adams,2020).
Sujung Heo says of second-generation biomasses in his study: 20% (scenario1), 44%
(scenario2), and 66% (scenario3). Based on the production potentials that were estimated,
CO2 will decrease 1.3–3.5 megatons in the gasoline sector, and 1.4–3.8 megatons in the
diesel sector under scenario 1. In scenario 2, we estimated decreases of 2.8–7.7 mega tons
and 3.2–8.4 mega tons of CO2 for the gasoline and diesel sectors, Respectively. Scenario 3
is expected to reduce the CO 2 concentration by 4.2–11.6 megatons in the gasoline
sector, and by 4.7–12.6 megatons in the diesel sector (Heo and Choi, 2019)
According to an article in the British biofuels website aeroplanes would either be
severely limited in their range or would not be able to take off due to the weight of the
fuel they would need to carry. In October 2012, 100% biofuels were used by the National
Research Council in Canada to power a Dassault Falcon 20. But Cheng Wang and others
see that “Although the feedstock price and availability and energy intensity of the process
are significant barriers, biomass-derived jet fuel has the potential to replace a significant
portion of conventional jet fuel required to meet commercial and military demand.”
(Cheng Wang, 2016)
Biofuel production is a new industry. Technology and efficiency improvements are
emerging, new feedstock sources are being explored, Permastore says “International
Standards – For biofuels storage, Biotanq’s quality systems provide a credible alternative
to the API 650 standard for welded tanks and to the 12B specification for bolted tanks”.
Meenakshi's study found acceptable storage tank materials include mild steel, stainless
steel, fluorinated polyethylene and polypropylene. Biodiesel has a solvent effect which
releases the deposits accumulated on tank walls leading to corrosion. (Meenakshi,2013)
Also a springboard biodiesel report agrees with Meenakshi that all fuels will degrade
7. Proportions of Biofuel in Blends
The aviation industry has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 50% from their
2005 level by 2050. Blending lower carbon SAF with fossil jet fuel will be essential to
meeting this goal. This is reflected in the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario
(SDS), which anticipates biofuels reaching around 10% of aviation fuel demand by 2030,
and close to 20% by 2040. Still, aviation biofuel production of about 15 million litres in
2018 accounted for less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption. This means that
significantly faster market development is needed to deliver the levels of SAF production
required by the aviation industry and keep on track with the requirements of the SDS.
(IEA Energy Analyst, 2019).
The aviation industry plays a significant role in world development. The transport
system is a vital side of development. The emission of greenhouses gases from the
burning of fossil fuels has to be solved soon before they lead to wide-scale damage. One
approach is by developing new eco-friendly fuel types. This opens up an opportunity for
the organization to take up production of biofuels on an industrial scale.
• Governments should preferably support ways of cultivation that integrate oil-bearing
trees into rural production systems in a way that does not threaten food production
• Governments should facilitate the productive use of lands that are owned by various
government departments but remain unutilized
• Governments should provide soft loans to support private biofuel farming.
• Oil-bearing trees can be used among other species in areas where forest land is
assigned for afforestation.
A., E. (2013). Biofuel: Sources, Extraction and Determination. Liquid, Gaseous and Solid
Biofuels - Conversion Techniques. [online] Available at:
https://www.intechopen.com/books/liquid-gaseous-and-solid-biofuels-conversiontechniques/biofuel-sources-extraction-and-determination [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].
Alternative Aviation Fuels: Overview of Challenges, Opportunities, and Next Steps.
(n.d.). [online] Available at:
f [Accessed 17 Nov. 2019].
Beesley Fuels. (2020). HVO Fuel UK - Nationwide, UK Delivery Service | Beesley Fuels.
[online] Available at: https://www.beesleyfuels.co.uk/products/hvo-fuel/ [Accessed 1
Biofuel.org.uk. (2012). Biofuels - Types of Biofuels - Aviation Biofuel. [online] Available
1. Demirbas .Ayhan, Abdullah .Bafail, Waqar .Ahmad, Manzoor .Sheikh(2016)
Biodiesel production from non-edible plant oils.Kingdome of Saudi Arabia
2. Elbehri,Aziz . Segerstedt,Anna.(2013). A global assessment of sustainability
issues, trends and policies for biofuels and related feedstocks.Trade and markets
division food and agriculture organization of the United National,Rome.Available
at:http://www.fao.org/3/i3126e/i3126e.pdf ( Accessed: 2nd of October 2019)
3. Heo, Sujung . Choi , Joon Weon. (2019). Potential and Environmental Impacts
of Liquid Biofuel from Agricultural Residues in Thailand. Seoul National
4. Iea.org. (2019). Are aviation biofuels ready for take off? [online] Available at:
5. Keisuke Hanaki. Joana Portugal-Pereira. (2018). The Effect of Biofuel Production
on Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions. Department of Urban Engineering The
University of Tokyo, Japan.
6. Masjuki Hj. Hassan, Md. Abul Kalam(2013), An overview of biofuel as a
renewable energy source: development and challenges. Department of
Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com access on 20th of November 2019
7. MEENAKSHI , H. N.(2013). Compatibility of Biofuel/Diesel Blends on Storage
Tank Material. Department of Chemistry, Avinashilingam Institute for Home
Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore - 43, Tamilnadu, India.
8. Nationalgeographic.com. (2017). Biofuels: The Benefits and Drawbacks. [online]
Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/globalwarming/biofuel/.
9. Sikiru Yusuff, A., David Adeniyi, O., Aderemi Olutoye, M. and George Akpan,
U. (2019). Waste Frying Oil as a Feedstock for Biodiesel Production. Petroleum
Chemicals - Recent Insight. [online] Available at:
10. Springboardbiodiesel.com. (2013). Storing Biodiesel Fuel. [online] Available at:
http://www.springboardbiodiesel.com/storing-biodiesel-fuel [Accessed 21 Nov.
11. Wang, W.-C., Tao, L., Markham, J., Zhang, Y., Tan, E., Batan, L., Warner, E. and
Biddy, M. (2016). Review of Biojet Fuel Conversion Technologies. [online]
Available at: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/66291.pdf [Accessed 21Nov.
12. Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Aviation biofuel. [online] Wikipedia. Available
at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_biofuel [Accessed 13 Nov. 2019].
13. Zahan, K.A.; Kano, M.(2018). Biodiesel Production from Palm Oil, Its ByProducts, and Mill Effluent: A Review. Energies 2018, 11, 2132.
14. Adams, Cathy. (2020).UK AVIATION INDUSTRY PROMISES TO BE CARBON
NEUTRAL BY 2050.Independent UK’s largest quality digital news
brand.[Accessed 8 Feb.2020] Available at: