Posted on April 14, 2012 by Nikki Fotheringham
Green living: Air travel can slash greenhouse gas emissions by 60% with new biofuel planes
By Nikki Fotheringham
Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. A flight to London emits the same amount of carbon that driving a small car for three months would. Burning large volumes of fuel is of grave concern to the airlines too. Rising fuel costs and carbon taxes are rendering economic air travel more difficult for airlines to offer. Now Quantas Air has found an answer to beat rising fuel costs and combat carbon emissions; used cooking oil from fast food restaurants.
The first commercial biofuel flight of an airbus A330 left Sydney bound for Adelaide on Friday the 13th. The airbus utilized a 50/50 mixture of jet fuel and recycled cooking oil. The flight was the first of many that Quantas hopes will reduce the costly price tag of jet fuel as well as carbon emissions taxes leveled by Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The flight was fully booked as passengers showed support for the move to biofuels. The maiden biofuel flight is part of a joint Shell/Quantas study on the viability of biofuels in the aviation industry. And, although it represents a monumental breakthrough, biofuel planes are still a long way off.
Carbon emissions for each passenger for each kilometer traveled
• Domestic (short distances of less than 463 km or 288 mi): 257 g/km CO2
• Domestic (long distance, greater than 463 km or 288 mi): 177 g/km CO2
• Long distance flights: 113 g/km CO2 or 114 g/km
You can calculate the carbon footprint left by your air travel using a carbon calculator. You will be surprised at how much you contribute every time you jet off to a vacation. (Feel free to use this as an excuse to miss Aunt Mabel’s 9th wedding).
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