Science & Technology

Sustainable plant-based jet fuel has the potential to reduce emissions by 68%

Plant-based jet fuel has the potential to reduce emissions by 68%.

A new study by University of Georgia scientist Puneet Dwivedi can reduce carbon emissions by up to 68% by replacing petroleum-based aviation fuels with sustainable aviation fuels derived from some rapeseed.

Dwivedi leads a team to estimate break-even prices and lifecycle carbon emissions for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived from oil from the inedible oilseed crop Brassica carinata. bottom.The study was published in GCB bioenergy..

“If we can secure the supply of raw materials and provide appropriate economic incentives along the supply chain, we may be able to produce carinata-based SAF in the southern United States,” said Dwivedi, an associate professor at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Says. The aviation industry emits 2.5% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions and accounts for 3.5% of global warming. “Carinata-based SAFs have the potential to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the aviation sector while creating economic opportunities and improving the flow of ecosystem services throughout the southern region.”

Karinata blooming field

A field where brassica carinata blooms. Credit: Bill Anderson

Biden’s Sustainable Fuel Tax Credit

Dwivedi’s findings come at the right time. In September, President Joe Biden proposed a sustainable fuel tax deduction as part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge. It brings together federal agencies to expand SAF production nationwide. Biden has set a goal of reducing aviation emissions by 20% by 2030 and achieving a completely zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.

According to the team’s findings, the proposed tax credit should reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 50%. This is the standard that carinata exceeds.

Prices for producing SAF from Carinata ranged from $ 0.12 per liter to $ 1.28 per liter at the low end, based on existing economic and market incentives. The price of petroleum-based aviation fuel was $ 0.50 per liter, which was higher than the Carinata-based SAF if current economic incentives were included in the analysis.

“The current policy mechanism should continue to support the production and distribution of SAF. The Grand Challenge announced by President Biden is a breakthrough in supporting Karinata-based SAF production in the southern region. It can be a thing, “said Dwivedi.

Karinata growing in the southeast

Dwivedi is part of Carinata’s Advanced Renewables Southeast Partnership (SPARC), a $ 15 million project funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the US Department of Agriculture. Through SPARC, researchers have been investigating how to grow carinata in the southeast for the past four years, asking questions related to optimal genetics and best practices for best crop and oil yields. With these answers in place, Dwivedi is confident in Carinata’s role in supporting the region’s economy and environment.

“In the south, winters are less severe than in other parts of the country, so you can grow carinata as a winter crop,” he said. “Carinata is cultivated during the’off’season, so it does not compete with other food crops and does not cause food and fuel problems. In addition, the cultivation of Brassica carinata offers the benefits of all cover crops related to water quality, soil health, biodiversity and pollination. “

According to Dwivedi, the missing part of the puzzle is the lack of local infrastructure to grind seeds and process oil into SAF. His current research focuses on modeling the economic and environmental feasibility of producing and consuming carinata-based SAF throughout Georgia, Alabama, and Florida from a supply chain perspective. increase.

“Our results are particularly relevant to Georgia, the country’s sixth-largest consumer of conventional aviation fuel, hosting the world’s busiest airport, and home to Delta, one of the world’s leading airlines. “I will,” he says. Said. “I look forward to pursuing more research to provide a sustainable alternative to the current model of air travel. Carinata is our rural area, the aviation industry, And most importantly, it can be a mutually beneficial situation for climate change. “

Reference: Asiful Alam, Md Farhad Hossain Masum, Puneet Dwivedi, Break-even Price and Carbon Emissions for Carinata-based Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production in the Southeastern United States, August 21, 2021 GCB bioenergy..
DOI: 10.1111 / gcbb.12888

Co-authors of this study include Asiful Alam and Md Farhad Hossain Masam of the University of Georgia. SPARC also includes Brian Bledsoe and Dan Geller of the Faculty of Engineering, and Henry Sintim and Greg Colson of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Funding for this study was received through USDA-NIFA Bioenergy Cooperative Agriculture Project Grant # 2016-11231.

This study is part of Special problem (“Sustainable aviation fuel production from Brassica carinata in the southern United States”) Published in GCB Bioenergy.

Sustainable plant-based jet fuel has the potential to reduce emissions by 68% Sustainable plant-based jet fuel has the potential to reduce emissions by 68%

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