Your Next Flight Could Run On Used Cooking Oil
Cooking oils are essential for frying all the foods that make life so worth living. But once they have fulfilled their destiny and got our jalapeno poppers golden brown, they are also often used as sustainable fuel. And not just for cars, but also for jumbo jets.
Airbus recently completed a three-hour test flight in France using a commercial jet equipped to run on sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, which is made up mostly of used cooking oil and other fatty waste. , according to CNN. The test flight, which was carried out using a single Rolls Royce Trent 900 turbojet engine, was followed by a similar trip to test SAF consumption during take-offs and landings.
Airbus had already tested SAF with a A350 and an A319neo single-aisle. But this latest test used an A380, the company’s passenger jumbo jet with two full-length decks totaling 550 square meters, or three tennis courts. In other words, it’s a huge energy guzzler.
The fuel used for the test flight is made from hydrotreated fatty acid esters, a biogenic renewable hydrocarbon-based fuel with no aromatics or sulphur. It is also sometimes referred to as alternative fuel, which means that it is chemically equivalent to fossil fuels and can be used in existing diesel engines without technical mixture walls.
Going forward, Airbus hopes its aircraft will be cleared to fly on SAF by 2030, en route to introducing its first zero-emission aircraft by 2035. The airline industry as a whole has pledged to achieve zero emissions by 2050. SAF could play a significant role in achieving this goal, but it is apparently quite expensive, so it is unlikely to see widespread adoption any time soon.
In the meantime, keep doing your part and eating as many delicious fried foods as you can. Consider it a small sacrifice for the future of sustainable aviation.