The aircraft is one of the means of transportation that has many environmental impacts on its surroundings. The impact of aircraft on life and the environment should be further explored, and given the benefits of traveling by plane, travelers are more welcome to buy airline tickets than ever before. Aircraft engines cause climate change in the environment with the emission of polluting gases, noise, and heat. Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon, water vapor, and other suspended gases eventually produce many atmospheric reactions.
As aviation technology increases and the number of trips climb higher, more and more aircrafts are flying in the sky. The growth of air travel in recent years has contributed to one of the major impact of aircraft, which is air pollution. According to research, although modern technologies are used in aircraft, emissions of harmful gases from aircraft engines continue to cause air pollution. Of course, this shows that airplane tickets are one of the most popular tickets in the transportation industry.
For more information about planes and their respective color, check out airplane body color, what different colors mean for each plane, and why the white color is the most favored one among all the other colors.
Aircraft Travel and Environmental Impacts
From the industrial revolution onward, with the rapid growth of various industries, we are witnessing the establishment of various factories and the growth of air pollutant emissions. Frequent use of fossil fuels puts a lot of carbon dioxide into the environment, causing global warming and climate change. A look at airline ticket sales figures reveals that millions of airplane tickets are sold daily around the world. This has doubled compared to many years ago. Aircraft fuel consumption, another cause for the impact of aircraft on environemnet, is much higher than other modes of transport, affecting the air quality index. So aerospace scientists and engineers are launching a new generation of aircraft that uses organic and bio-fuels.
Green Planes; The Way Forward
The automotive industry is seeing hybrid and electric cars, so-called green cars, but it is a little more complicated in the aviation industry. Because we have to have modern and sophisticated designs in every single detail of the aircraft to ensure maximum security, another problem with the design of electric planes is the use of very powerful energy that can propel an aircraft up to the clouds. There is no such energy right at the moment for commercial aircraft. To realize this dream while using high-power electric power, advancement in technology is also needed.
New Aircraft Fuels in The Aviation Industry
Due to the increase in air pollution impact of aircraft, the researchers plan to use less fossil fuels. Recently, scientists have been able to extract hydrocarbons from a type of fungus where the composition is very similar to the main constituents of petroleum products. This type of fungus has been the focus of scientists’ research for aircraft fuel production for nearly ten years.
Aerial biofuel is a new type of biofuel used in aircraft. This fuel type has been known for years as the main material that the aviation industry can use to reduce its carbon footprint. In the current year, some airlines have been experimenting with this fuel in commercial flights as well.
Currently, the industry’s focus is now on the second generation of sustainable biofuels (sustainable air fuels). NASA has determined that 50% aviation biofuel blends can reduce air pollution caused by air traffic by 50–70%. The goal of IATA is to reduce half of CO2 emissions by 2050 to further reduce the impact of aircraft on the global environment.
The first flight using mixed biofuels took place in the year 2008. Since then, more than 150 thousand flights have used biofuels. The use of algae as an organic fuel is one of the useful sources for jet biofuel production.
Since the Year 2017, there has been little progress in jet fuel production from algae, with the prediction that by the year 2050, only 2 to 5 percent of fuel needs can be met by algae. This may not be very satisfying in the first place, but it can promise a bright future for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
So travelers can be hopeful that the environment will not be harmed by buying plane tickets and air travel in the near future. It is, of course, clear that traveling by plane has numerous benefits compared to other means of travel.