Airlines Working Together on Locally-Produced Aviation Biofuel

14th Mar 2016

With global warming a looming threat over our planet and the air industry being a big contributor to that pollution, some airline companies are doing their best to decrease their impact.

Two such companies are Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. The two carriers announced today that they have united against this problem and would be working together to try and find a viable, less-polluting solution.

That solution could very well be 'locally-produced aviation biofuel' and the Australian and New Zealand carriers are currently investigating its potential for use in their planes.

In an email, a spokesperson for the two airlines wrote:

"Both airlines recognize the impact the aviation industry has on the environment and strongly believe in the benefits biofuels can offer. These benefits include reduced environmental impact, increased innovation and investment as well as the economic benefits that investment in these fuels can bring."

Can Biofuel Compete with Fossil Fuel?

The big question, however, is whether biofuel can actually compete with fossil fuels, especially the petroleum-based fuel that most aircrafts are using, on price and availability?

According to a recent study by the Air Transport Action Group, biofuel could be made from processing such things as algae and even municipal waste. At least, there's an abundance of that.

Estimates say that the aviation industry is responsible for around 2 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions created by humans. If it were a country, the aviation industry would be ranked seventh, behind China, United States, European Union, India, Russian Federation and Japan.

In an attempt to lower greenhouse gas emissions caused by the aviation industry, the United Nations proposed last month the 'first-ever' rules. These rules, however, were criticized by global warming advocates, who claim that, since most modern aircraft already comply with the majority of those rules, there's no real point to them in the first place.

Another problem for the opponents of these regulations is the fact that they were crafted by the airline industry itself.

Right now, it remains to be seen whether biofuel is a viable solution. The biofuel market has until 30 May this year to respond to the inquiry.