Algae-based biofuels are mixed with conventional fossil fuels. Photo: © Shutterstock – KYTan
Renewable alternative to jet fuel in the US
The International Air Transport Association predicts that 7.2 billion passengers will fly in 2035, nearly doubling the 3.8 billion in 2016. Instead of petroleum, researchers have now developed new processes to ramp up production of bio-based fuel made from corncobs and wood chips. World air travel contributed 815 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2016 – two per cent of the global anthropogenic total, according to the International Air Transport Association. Other US companies make renewable jet fuel from materials such as triglycerides extracted from used oil and grease, or from a combination of carbon monoxide and hydrogen called syngas. One company uses algae as its source material and even has an underground pipeline to Los Angeles Airport (LAX), where a percentage gets mixed with conventional jet fuel.