Flying & Carbon Footprints

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Flying is not felt to be very environmentally friendly. Whether you are a believer in the fact that the airline industry is being particularly singled out or you believe that it is as bad as some people say doesn’t allow for two other factors which will probably have more influence. That is the high cost of aviation fuel and the fact that supplies are finite.

The future seems to be biofuels and a few airlines have already tried flying their planes using it. But what sort of biofuels? Last year fields were given over to crops for fuel as opposed to crops for food and some claimed that it led to an increase in food prices. One area being looked at is using algae based biofuels. The US government has just agreed a budget of $78 million to research advanced biofuels like algae. But accoring to Aviation and The Environment News Service, in Canada  it is felt that biofuel industries may contribute to new health related problems so they are researching how green these fuels might be and trying to measure their impact.

Qatar Airways has been at the forefront of testing biofuels and last year flew a plane using a gas to liquid fuel. Now in conjunction with Airbus and Qatar Petroleum it is researching into developing a sustainable biojet fuel and Qatar Airlines plans to switch when it is fully developed and tested. But then so will most if not all airlines.

The goal is to develop a biofuel that eradicates a carbon footprint, is cheaper than the current rate of aviation fuel, is totally renewable and which doesn’t cause a reduction in land for food crops. In the meantime, airlines are looking at how they can economise on emissions and fuel so that passengers will not be driven away by high prices and environmentalists can feel that the airline industry is serious about doing something about emission levels.

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