Boeing has announced that it will deliver commercial airplanes capable of flying on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. The announcement comes at a crucial time as every big and small company is talking about reducing the carbon footprint. This goal has been set keeping in mind a broader industry target of reducing carbon emissions to half by 2025. Boeing said that it is the biggest challenge of our lifetime to reduce the damage to our environment from fossil fuels. Boeing will require safety certification by global regulators once it is done with all the basic requirements.
Sean Newsum, Boeing’s director of sustainability strategy, said that it is a tremendous challenge. “Aviation industry is committed to doing everything that can help reduce its carbon footprint,” Newsum said. The company essentially has 10 years to achieve the target. Jetliners are scheduled to enter service in 2030 are expected to typically stay till 2050. But there are several tasks that need to be accomplished by the world’s largest aerospace company. Apart from the coronavirus pandemic that created a tough situation for one and all, the company had to ground its bestselling jetliner. The best-selling jetliner was grounded following series of fatal crashes. This led to strained finances of the company.
For the uninitiated, Boeing is not going to start from scratch to achieve the target. It has already presented the world’s first commercial flight capable of flying on 100 percent biofuel. The flight FedEx Corp 777 freighter was introduced in 2018. It is also working on reducing carbon emissions by using weight and drag reduction on new aircraft. Boeing’s European rival Airbus SE is also using the same technique. As of now, biofuels are allowed to mixed directly with conventional jet fuel but the limit is capped by up to 50 percent. The current fuel specifications allow only 50 percent of blending. Now Boeing is working on determining what changes in the alternative fuels will be best suited for flights. It needs to work with ASTM International and other groups that set fuel specifications.