Biofuels and blends: renewable fuels for greener air travel
Biokerosene made out of algae
Besides testing algae, experiments are also being conducted on other plants such as Jatropha to produce liquid fuels from their oils. Waste fats (i.e. waste materials) are also sources of energy and therefore offer great potential. “Many different technological developments exist, but in the end, they are all required in large quantities,” adds Müller. In most cases, they often fail because there’s currently not enough available. He sees the trend in combining different approaches. CO2-neutral synthetic fuels could thus play a central role in sustainable flying. These can be produced not only using biomass, but also with CO2-neutral electricity. Scientists from the Institute for Solar Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) want to use the “Synlight” project to develop production processes for solar-powered fuels, which also includes fuel for airplanes. The goal is to produce hydrogen by breaking down water into its different components. Hydrogen is regarded as the environmentally friendly fuel of the future, since it does not emit CO2 during combustion.
German Aerospace Center (DLR) tested the use
of biofuels and blends in a real engine
over a period of several days.
Text by Nicole de Jong
Photos: Forschungszentrum Jülich (Article picture), DLR (CC-BY 3.0)