German officials have unveiled the first commercial-scale plant dedicated to synthesizing kerosene for aircraft by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere using energy from renewable sources.
Currently, the airline industry accounts for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. And as the limitations of current technologies do not practically allow the electrification of aircraft, the only option left is to create an alternative source of fuel, obtained from renewable sources.
Traditionally obtained by refining oil, kerosene for aviation can be synthesized by extracting and combining constituent elements. For example, CO2 in the atmosphere and hydrogen atoms by cleavage of water molecules. Called e-fuel, the new synthetic kerosene makes it possible to reach the target for net zero carbon emissions through the method of recapturing pollutant emissions into the atmosphere.
The plant inaugurated In the Werlte region, on the northwestern border of Germany, it uses electricity supplied by two adjacent wind farms. Hydrogen obtained by methods known for over a century is recombined with carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to obtain a crude oil-like product, which can then be refined to make aircraft fuel.
The installation created rather for demonstration purposes has a modest capacity, the estimated daily production for next year being only 1270 liters / day. Thus, it would be necessary to combine production over many days to facilitate a single transatlantic flight with a scheduled airliner. However, the precedent has been set, and it remains to be seen whether the technology is viable for wider use.
Unlike the burning of fossil fuels, the CO2 released into the atmosphere by the operation of aircraft powered by the new type of environmentally friendly kerosene forms a closed circuit, started at the stage of fuel synthesis. Thus, the contribution of pollutant emissions into the atmosphere is net-zero, as in the case of cars powered directly by electricity.
Source: Go4IT by www.go4it.ro.
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