The country’s largest aerospace manufacturing company has made a bold commitment for the betterment of the environment. On January 22, Boeing announced plans to deliver airplanes that run completely on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.
The Basics of Airplane Fuels
Most jet-engine airplanes, of course, run on a special type of petroleum-based fuel. Known as Jet A-1 — or simply aviation fuel — it’s used in countless jet-engine airplanes, including those manufactured by Boeing and its competitors. Jet engines burn A-1 fuel within a combustion chamber to generate propulsion. As they burn it, the jet engines produce and release exhaust gases as a byproduct.
Exhaust gases aren’t exclusive to jet engines. All engines that burn petroleum-based fuels produce exhaust gases. Even automotive engines in cars and trucks produce them. Because of their potential impact on the environment, though, Boeing has made a commitment to switch to alternative fuels. Boeing says that it will deliver airplanes that burn 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.
Boeing’s New Sustainable Airplanes
What type of fuel will Boeing’s new and environmentally friendly airplanes run exactly? While it hasn’t revealed the new fuel types, sustainable fuels aren’t new. Many airplanes already use them. However, these airplanes typically run a mixture of both sustainable and petroleum-based fuels. They burn an equal amount of sustainable fuels and petroleum-based fuels. Boeing will take things to the next level by building airplanes that run entirely on sustainable fuels.
According to Boeing, its decision to achieve 100% sustainable fuels by 2030 is an important step to protecting the environment. “Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” explained Boeing CEO Stan Deal in a press release announcing the company’s commitment. “We’re committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels.”
In the same press release, Boeing explained that sustainable fuels can be made of a variety of compounds and products. Some of them are made of plants, for instance. Both edible and inedible plants can be used to make sustainable fuels. Household waste can also be used to make sustainable fuels. It’s unknown what type of fuels Boeing will use in its upcoming airplanes. Nonetheless, the U.S.-based aerospace manufacturing company has committed to delivering airplanes that run entirely on sustainable fuels by 2030.