Airplane Emissions

Of the reported 16.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions for which transportation, in general, accounts, air transport (of both people and freight) is responsible for 1.9%.2 A 2018 report from the International Council on Clean Transportation said passenger transport accounted for 81% of total aviation emissions—that’s 747 million metric tons of secreted carbon dioxide per year. The International Council on Clean Transportation says if the aviation industry were a country, it would be the sixth top greenhouse gas emitter. In the U.S. alone, emissions from domestic flights have increased by 17% since 1990, and passenger air travel continues to have a positive growth rate globally, interfering with efforts to slow global warming.

Carbon dioxide makes up about 70% of aircraft emissions. CO2 is the most widely understood greenhouse gas, which is produced by the consumption of jet fuel. The type of plane, number of passengers, and fuel efficiency are all factors in exactly how much CO2 a plane emits, but the Environmental and Energy Study Institute defines the ratio as about three pounds per pound of fuel consumed, “regardless of the phase of flight.” A chunk of the gas emitted by a single flight, the nonprofit notes, can linger in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

In addition to CO2, though, burning jet fuel also generates nitrogen oxides, classified as indirect greenhouse gases because they contribute to the creation of ozone. Although still a relatively small component of total aviation emissions, NOx emissions from air travel are increasing at a faster rate than CO2, doubling from 1990 to 2014.6 That increase can be attributed to a growing aviation industry—one whose primary environmental mission is to curb emissions from the more notorious CO2.

Of course, not all planes are created equal, and while none are truly eco-friendly, some are greener than others. The Airbus A319, for instance, outperforms the classic Boeing 737 of its size (the 300 model) in fuel efficiency. It consumes about 650 gallons of fuel per hour compared with the latter’s 800 gallons per hour. The Airbus A380 was briefly marketed as a “Gentle Green Giant,” but the ICCT notes that the Boeing 787-9 was 60% more fuel-efficient than the A380 in 2016.

The Effects of Radiative Forcing

The EESI says only 10% of gases produced by planes are emitted during the takeoff and landing (including the ascent and descent); the rest occur at 3,000 feet and higher.5 This is especially damaging because of radiative forcing, a measure of how much light gets absorbed by Earth and how much is radiated back to space. The contrails—vapor trails—planes leave in their wake cause radiative forcing and trap gases high in the atmosphere, where they cause more damage than at the ground level.

Boat Emissions

Like planes, boats also emit a cocktail of toxic greenhouse gases—including but not limited to CO2 and NOx. The amount emitted, likewise, depends on the ship’s size, age, average cruising speed, number of passengers, and length of trip. There are all sorts of watercraft, but when comparing the footprint of maritime transport—accounting for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions—to that of air travel, it’s perhaps most logical to analyze the vessel most similar in size to a passenger plane: a cruise ship.

Traditional cruise ships run on diesel, one of the most CO2-producing fuel types available. According to Sailors for the Sea, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization affiliated with Oceana, marine diesel generates 21.24 pounds of CO2 per gallon of fuel.10 What’s more, cruise ships emit black carbon—soot produced by the combustion of fossil fuels and biomass—and almost six times as much as an oil tanker emits, at that. According to a 2015 report from the ICCT, cruise ships account for 6% of marine black carbon emissions despite making up only 1% of ships globally.11 The warming effect black carbon has on the climate is thought to be up to 1,500 times stronger than that of CO2.

The European Federation for Transport and Environment found in a continent-wide study on luxury cruise ship emissions that the amount of NOx released by these hefty liners was equivalent to 15% of Europe’s entire car fleet. It also found that port cities throughout Europe suffered from air pollution caused by extraordinarily high levels of sulfur oxides generated by the ships. In Barcelona, for instance, ships are generating five times more SOx than cars.

Large cruise ships designed for long-haul trips even have their own incinerators. The average cruise ship produces seven tons of solid waste every day, which leads to a reported 15 billion pounds of trash being dumped into oceans (as ash, mostly) per year. Besides the direct impact this has on marine life, the incineration process itself generates additional emissions of CO2, NOx, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and other toxic compounds.

Ocean Acidification

In the same way planes intensify their emissions by belching greenhouse gases at altitude, emissions from ships are extra harmful because the CO2 that escapes their exhausts is promptly absorbed by seawater. Over time, this can change the pH of the ocean—a phenomenon called ocean acidification. Because increased acidity is caused by a reduction in the amount of carbonate, shells made of calcium carbonate may dissolve, and fish will find it difficult to form new ones. Ocean acidification also takes a toll on coral, whose skeletons are made of a form of calcium carbonate called aragonite.

Which Is Greener?

A 2011 case study of cruise ships in Dubrovnik, Croatia, estimated that the average CO2 emitted per person, per mile on a medium-sized 3,000-passenger cruise ship was 1.4 pounds.15 By that calculation, a round-trip cruise from Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida, to Nassau, Bahamas—a popular, 350-mile transatlantic route frequented by Royal Caribbean International, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line—would equal about 980 pounds of carbon emissions per person. That same return route, if traveled from Orlando International Airport to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport in the economy class of a passenger aircraft, would add up to only 368 pounds of CO2 emitted per person, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Emissions Calculator.16 And that’s only emissions from carbon, not NOx or any other gases.

Of course, a case can be made that ferries and other, less-polluting boats provide eco-friendly alternatives to air travel. This could be the case for overwater routes that ferries can handle, such as the heavily trafficked route from Melbourne to Tasmania, Australia, or the shorter-but-equally-busy route between Morocco and Spain. But the slower-moving vessels that boast entire waterparks and golf courses on board are likely to always trump aviation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint While Traveling

  • Before booking a flight or a cruise, do your research on which airlines and cruise lines are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Friends of the Earth regularly creates “cruise ship report cards” in which all the major cruise operators are given a grade based on air pollution reduction, sewage treatment, water quality compliance, and other factors. Atmosfair has released a similar ranking of airlines based on fuel efficiency.
  • Whether traveling by air or water, remember that the shorter the trip, the greener. Choose direct flights over ones with multiple stops to minimize mileage. 
  • Consider carbon offsetting your travel. Many airlines are now offering this as an additional service, but you can also donate to a carbon offsetting program of your choice, such as Carbonfund.org or Sustainable Travel International.

Source: Tree Hugger

Shutterstock

EgyptAir aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic materials on its flights by 90%.

Cairo International Airport launched Africa’s first test flight with environmentally friendly services on board to Paris, led by EgyptAir.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was led by the Egyptian minister of civil aviation and had 219 passengers onboard.

The flight coincides with the ministry of aviation’s celebration of the 92nd National Day of Egyptian Civil Aviation, which falls on Jan. 26 of each year.

Mohamed Manar said the success of the environmentally friendly trip comes in line with the ministry of aviation’s plan to confront the effects of climate change.

EgyptAir aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic materials on its flights by 90%.

It identified 27 products made of single-use plastic that were used on planes and replaced them with environmentally friendly products.

The Egyptian airline has set out a timetable for all flights to Europe with environmentally friendly products and services by 2025, to be circulated to all airline network flights, Amr Abol-Enein, the head of the holding company for EgyptAir, said.

Source: ArabNews

The Texas Renewable Funds (TRF) plant in Bon Wier, TX will process wood waste into 35 million gal/yr of sustainable transportation fuels.

A subsidiary of renewable fuels development group USA BioEnergy is moving forward on plans to build a new $1.7 million biorefinery in Bon Wier, TX that will process forest industry byproducts into 34 million gal/yr of eco-friendly transportation fuels, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

The Texas Renewable Funds (TRF) facility will supply sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel, and renewable naphtha.

“USA BioEnergy performed an extensive site search and analysis to identify the best location for our project,” the firm’s CEO, Nick Andrews, said in a release. “State and local incentives then became the key component of our decision and we’re excited to select Bon Wier.”

Over time, the company intends to double the site’s capacity to 68 million gal/yr. The facility will also capture and sequester 50 million mt of CO2 over the location’s lifespan. 

“This investment will further cement Texas as an innovative energy leader and will bring unprecedented economic opportunities to Bon Wier and Newton County,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement.

USA BioEnergy said in a separate release that it has entered into fuel offtake agreements with “a major trading and logistics company, as well as one of the world’s premier airlines.”

142 new jobs will be created through the project. Work on the site is slated to reach completion toward the end of 2025.

Source: Powder Bulk Solids

Inside the new RHS Garden Bridgewater, the biggest horticultural project in Europe. The Telegraph

The European general aviation market is projected to witness a CAGR of 5. 15 % during the forecast period (2022 – 2027). The aviation sector in the European region has witnessed a severe impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York, Feb. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Europe General Aviation Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 – 2027)” – reportlinker.com/p06227782/?utm_source=GNW Similar to scheduled services, the non-scheduled operations also decreased significantly in 2020 (business aviation decreased by about 29%), which has affected the deliveries of general aviation aircraft. However, in 2021, the demand for charter and private travel increased significantly, and the deliveries increased to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The demand for charter and private travel increased, as the travelers who could afford private travel abandoned commercial flying for the perceived safety and convenience of private travel in the region. Most of the countries in Europe opened tourist hotspots for vaccinated travelers, resulting in a rebound in tourism activities in 2021. This increase in travel and tourism in the region is anticipated to propel the growth of the market in the coming years.

Also, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been undertaking various initiatives to promote general aviation activities in the region. These measures are expected to mitigate a majority of the traditional challenges faced by the general aviation operators in Europe, thereby helping the growth of the market studied.

Companies are investing in the development and certification of new generation aircraft models with enhanced features to attract potential customers. The aircraft OEMs are focused on the development of fuel-efficient aircraft engines and designs to comply with the stringent emission norms being enforced across Europe. The advent of new models is likely to increase the competition among the existing players in the market and the availability of options for the customers, thereby driving the growth of the general aviation market in the region.

Key Market Trends

The Business Jet Segment is Anticipated to Witness the Highest Growth

The business jets segment of the European general aviation market currently dominates the market. It is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period, primarily due to relatively higher deliveries of business jets and their higher cost compared to other types of general aviation aircraft. The business jet utilization rate in Europe decreased by 29.3% in 2020 compared to 2019. However, business operations increased significantly in 2021 compared to 2020 due to significant growth in flight activity to leisure destinations. Also, the growth has not been consistent across the year, as several months in 2021 saw a drop in demand compared to 2019 levels. That is expected to improve in 2022 with the opening of more routes. In Europe, deliveries of new business jets declined in 2020 and again increased in 2021 with Pilatus PC-24 and Bombardier Global 7500 aircraft being the best-selling business jets 2021. Europe is a major market for charter service providers. These providers maintain a significantly large fleet of business jets to fly to North America and the Middle East & Africa. According to the major charter service providers in Europe, demand increased significantly toward the end of 2021 and managed to surpass 2019 pre-pandemic levels of traffic. Business aviation traffic has been approximately 20%-30% more than 2019 since August 2021. Due to such strong demand, the charter jet service companies are expanding their fleets to meet the growing demand. For instance, in July 2021, Flexjet, part of the Directional Aviation family, received an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for Malta as part of its expansion in the European region. The aircraft operator increased its fleet in Europe by 40% in the first half of 2021. Such developments are anticipated to drive the business jets segment of the market during the forecast period.

The United Kingdom is Expected Witness Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

The United Kingdom is anticipated to witness the highest growth in Europe general aviation market during the forecast period. The post-Brexit scenario of business aviation has changed and provided an opportunity for government agencies, industry players, and associations to work together to improve the business aviation environment in the country. The demand for business aviation has recovered to a certain extent, and there has been an increase in the number of new owners entering the market. With the increased demand for business aviation, new companies are expanding their presence in the country. In this regard, Eclipse Air Charter announced in October 2020 that the company opened a new international headquarters in Mayfair, London, due to increased demand for internal tourism. In the coming years, the company plans to expand its presence further in the European region. The aircraft operators are also expanding their fleet of business jets and helicopters. For instance, in May 2021, Yorkshire Air Ambulance announced that it would be replacing its two existing helicopters with a new H145 D3 model. Of the two new helicopters, the first is expected to arrive in Yorkshire in Spring 2023, with the second in summer 2023. Also, the United Kingdom is anticipated to begin the deployment of its electric air taxis during the forecast period. Such developments are anticpated to drive the growth of the general aviation market in the United Kingdom.

Competitive Landscape

The Europe general aviation market is dominated by players such as Bombardier Inc., General Dynamics Corporation (through Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation), Embraer SA, Leonardo S.p.A., and Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. The companies are investing in the development of new generation aircraft models with enhanced features to attract new potential customers. In this regard, in May 2021, Dassault Aviation unveiled the Falcon 10X, an all-new Falcon jet with a range of 7,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.85. According to the company, the aircraft has the largest cabin in its class and can accommodate four-cabin zones of equal length. The company also allows its customers to customize the interior like an expanded dining/conference area, a dedicated entertainment area with a large-screen monitor, etc. The aircraft is expected to enter service by the end of 2025. The companies are also investing in the development of eco-friendly aircraft. Commercial companies, charter operators, and other aircraft operators are acquiring new aircraft to enhance their operations. For instance, in November 2021, Airbus Helicopters announced that the company delivered the first five-bladed H145 helicopter to HTM Helicopters equipped with a powerful hoist, floatation equipment, and a cargo hook. Such introductions of new aircraft models and the partnerships of aircraft operators and aircraft OEMs are anticipated to help the companies increase their market shares.

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is to recruit around 6,000 staff, it has revealed. The European manufacturing giant employs around 4,500 staff at its wing-making plant at Broughton, near Chester. It said the new roles will be spread across the group and has given no specific details on which sites will see their headcount increase. The recruitment drive is in response to strong signs of recovery post-COVID in the aerospace industry, and linked to the group’s plans to prepare the future of aviation and implement its roadmap for decarbonisation.

Thierry Baril, chief human resources and workplace officer, said: “Airbus has demonstrated resilience throughout the COVID crisis, and has laid the foundations for a bold future for sustainable aviation. “This can only be achieved by acquiring the right talents in the various domains of expertise that will help us grow our activities as we come out of the crisis, while preparing the long term transformation of the company.”

He added: “Following this initial wave of recruitment, which will take place worldwide and across all our businesses, the number of external hires will be reassessed before mid-year 2022 and we will adjust our needs accordingly. “Not only will we look at acquiring the new skills that Airbus needs in the post-COVID world, but we will also do our utmost to reinforce diversity across the company, fostering a safe and inclusive culture reinforcing Team Airbus to be ready to pioneer sustainable aerospace.”

About a quarter of the planned recruitments should focus on acquiring the new skills to support the company’s long term projects and ambition, notably in the fields of decarbonisation, digital transformation and cyber technology. A third of the total recruitment will be allocated to young graduates. Broughton lost around 1,500 staff during the COVID lockdowns due to the world’s aviation industry going into limbo as fleets were grounded following the closure of borders to contain the spread of the pandemic. Production at the plant near Chester was cut back as orders dried up.

However, the group is now experiencing growth in its order book as worldwide flights begin to resume, and many carriers look to replace older aircraft with fuel-efficient and eco-friendly planes. Earlier this week the group revealed that it delivered 611 commercial aircraft to 88 customers in 2021, which it said demonstrated resilience and recovery with progress on ramp-up plans.

Airbus chief executive, Guillaume Faury, said: “While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022 to meet our customers’ requirements. At the same time we are preparing the future of aviation, transforming our industrial capabilities and implementing the roadmap for decarbonisation.” Airbus makes aircraft for the commercial and military markets, as well as helicopters and satellites.

Source: The Business Deck

United recently became the largest airline to invest in zero-emission, hydrogen-electric engines for regional aircraft, the latest move toward achieving its goal to be 100% green by reducing its GHG emissions 100% by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets.

Through a new equity stake in ZeroAvia, a leading company focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions, United expects to buy up to 100 of the company’s new zero-emission, 100% hydrogen-electric engines (ZA2000-RJ). The engine could be retrofit to existing United Express aircraft as early as 2028. One potential use is on United’s unique CRJ-550, the only 50-seat aircraft which offers first class and other premium amenities, making this leading aircraft even better and marking another first for United.

“Hydrogen-electric engines are one of the most promising paths to zero-emission air travel for smaller aircraft, and this investment will keep United out in front on this important emerging technology,” said Scott Kirby, CEO of United. “United continues to look for opportunities to not only advance our own sustainability initiatives but also identify and help technologies and solutions that the entire industry can adopt.”

Hydrogen-electric engines use electricity created by a chemical reaction in a fuel cell to power an electric motor instead of burning fossil fuel. Because no fuel is burned, there are no climate-harming emissions or carbon released into the atmosphere when the engines are operated.

The ZA2000-RJ is expected to be used in pairs as a new power source for existing regional aircraft. Under the agreement with United Airlines Ventures, United will pursue a conditional purchase agreement for 50 ZeroAvia ZA2000-RJ engines, with an option for 50 more, enough for up to 50 twin-engine aircraft which would be operated by United Express partners once they are fully developed and certified by regulators as soon as 2028.

“This support by United, alongside our other forward-thinking partners, demonstrates the importance of hydrogen-electric propulsion in the future of sustainable flight,” said Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO and of ZeroAvia. “The United Express routes powered by hydrogen-electric aircraft will be enabling large numbers of passengers to take zero-emission flights well within this decade.”

ZeroAvia is accelerating development of its ZA2000 engine and will soon begin ground tests of its ZA600 in a 19-seat aircraft, with the aim of entering commercial service with this smaller engine by 2024. ZeroAvia’s roadmap calls for it to develop hydrogen-electric propulsion for progressively larger aircraft. In September 2020, ZeroAvia completed the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft. ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft from the FAA in the United States and the Civil Aviation Authority in the U.K. and has passed significant flight test milestones.

On December 1, United made aviation history by operating the first passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel, from Chicago to Washington, D.C. The flight showcased the safety of sustainable aviation fuel and the potential for a dramatically reduced carbon footprint for aviation.

Earlier this year, United announced a record-setting agreement to purchase sustainable aviation fuel from Alder Fuels and has now committed to purchase more than twice as much of this fuel as the rest of the world’s airlines combined. These investments and the accomplishments below make United the global aviation leader in supporting technology used to sustainably power commercial aircraft:

  • United recently agreed to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder Fuels – enough to fly more than 57 million passengers and is also an investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy, where United has an option to purchase up to 900 million gallons of additional SAF.
  • In July 2021, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) announced that along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mesa Airlines, it has invested in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. Heart Aerospace is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers with zero emissions when powered by renewable electricity.
  • In July 2021, Air Transport World magazine named United its Eco-Airline of the Year for the third time.
  • In June 2021, as part of its agreement with Boom Supersonic, United announced plans to purchase 15 of Boom’s “Overture” airliners (with an option for 35 more). Slated to carry passengers in 2029, the net-zero aircraft plans to fly on 100% SAF.
  • In February 2021, United announced an agreement to work with Archer Aviation to accelerate the development and production of their electric aircraft – an urban mobility solution that has the potential to serve as an ‘air taxi,’ giving United customers another opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint before they even board a United flight.
  • In 2020, United became the first airline to announce a commitment to invest in direct air capture, a carbon capture and sequestration technology. United remains committed to investing in carbon capture and sequestration as a key pathway to achieving its climate goals.
  • In 2019, United operated the Flight for the Planet, which represented the most-eco-friendly commercial flight of its kind in the history of commercial aviation.
  • In 2018, United became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions, by 50% by 2050. This goal has since been superseded by the airline’s 100% green commitment.
  • In 2016, United became the first airline globally to use SAF in regular operations on a continuous basis with SAF from World Energy.

About United Airlines

United’s shared purpose is “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” In 2019, United and United Express® carriers operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United has the most comprehensive route network among North American carriers, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. For more about how to join the United team, please visit united.com/careers and more information about the company is at united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UAL”.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements that are not statements of historical facts are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on historical performance and current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our future financial results, goals, plans, commitments, strategies and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, known or unknown, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond our control and could cause our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the parties’ ability to satisfy certain post-closing conditions, any delay or inability of United Airlines to realize the expected benefits of the proposed transaction and that the proposed transaction will materialize on the terms or within the time frame described in this document. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many risks and uncertainties that affect United’s business and market, particularly those identified in the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections in United’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and except as otherwise required by applicable law or regulation, United undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

Source: News Direct

Air New Zealand wants to get zero emissions aircraft in the skies in the next five years. The airline has made a call to aviation manufacturers to help as it looks to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2050. It wants aircraft technology ideas on how to accelerate and deploy propulsion innovations such as hybrid, hydrogen or electric technologies for its new aircraft. Air New Zealand head of fleet strategy Baden Smith said it was taking steps to ramp up genuine climate action. “While our industry faces a steep challenge to decarbonise, New Zealand is uniquely placed to lead the world in zero emissions aircraft and low carbon alternatives on our domestic air transport network,” Smith said. “We believe New Zealand could be a world leader in zero or low emissions aircraft, whether that’s battery electric or green hydrogen powered. We’re seeking the best ideas and technology from innovators around the globe who might be prepared to work with us.” Smith said Aotearoa was ideally suited to adopt zero emissions aircraft due to its short-range routes. The airline released a product requirements document, which was a guide for business and innovators to help build, launch or market the provision of zero emissions aircraft in New Zealand. “This product requirements document allows us to share our vision for zero emissions aircraft deployment and allows current and future aircraft developers to recognise both the opportunity here in New Zealand and Air New Zealand’s ambition to make this a reality as soon as possible.” Earlier this year, Air New Zealand announced a joint initiative with European aerospace company Airbus to research the future of hydrogen powered aircraft in Aotearoa.

Source: RNZ

United Airlines

New investors Alaska Airlines and United Airlines join existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity and Shell Ventures in the round. New raise will accelerate the development of ZeroAvia’s 2-5MW powertrain for larger aircraft.

As the company moves closer to commercialization of its hydrogen-electric technology, ZeroAvia has secured a new raise of $35 million to help develop its 2–5MW zero-emission powertrain system for regional aviation. As announced today, United Airlines has invested in ZeroAvia through this round, and our agreement with United anticipates an order for 50 ZA2000-RJ engines, with an option for 50 more. United joins an already announced new investor, Alaska Air Group, in this round, alongside existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Summa Equity, and Shell Ventures. This brings the company’s total investment to date up to $115 million.

ZeroAvia is on track to achieve commercialization for its hydrogen propulsion technology in 2024. Initially, the company is targeting a 500-mile range in a 10–20 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, package delivery, agriculture, and beyond. This funding round targets the next segment of 40-80 seat aircraft, targeting turboprops by 2026 and regional jets by 2028. The funding will also allow ZeroAvia to further ramp up presence across its US, UK, and continental Europe locations.

Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia, said:

“We are very excited to welcome our new investors, including one of the world’s largest airlines in United, into the ZeroAvia family. As we prepare for ground and flight testing of our first commercial intent product in the coming weeks, this backing by our investors will enable us to accelerate delivery of our engine for larger aircraft. We are tremendously grateful to all our investors who are helping us achieve our mission—a world where every aircraft is powered by hydrogen-electric engines, delivering a true zero-emission future for flying.

Scott Kirby, CEO of United, said:

“Hydrogen-electric engines are one of the most promising paths to zero-emission air travel for smaller aircraft, and this investment will keep United out in front on this important emerging technology. United continues to look for opportunities to not only advance our own sustainability initiatives, but also identify and help technologies and solutions that the entire industry can adopt.”
Kevin Eggers of AP Ventures, said:

“Aviation remains crucial to efficient global travel and trade. The resulting carbon emissions are however significant. ZeroAvia offers a credible and compelling pathway to zero-emission aviation, enabling the long-term future of the industry. ZeroAvia is pioneering practical clean aviation solutions in a meaningfully short time frame. We are excited to work alongside established industry companies, such as United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and British Airways to further this historic transformation.

Throughout the past few weeks, ZeroAvia has made significant progress towards achieving its goal of zero-emission aviation. This investment round follows significant commercial momentum for the company, including partnerships with Alaska Airlines, Rose Cay, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, ASL Aviation Holdings, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Regional Jet division and Rotterdam the Hague Airport.

Also in the last few weeks, ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov addressed the UK Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, as well as the UK Parliament, calling for a focus on delivering zero-emission aviation as soon as possible to ensure the industry’s climate change impact can be tackled. This followed the company’s second annual Hydrogen Aviation Summit, the largest event examining the future of hydrogen in the sector.

About ZeroAvia:
ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting 500-mile range in 10–20 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, cargo, agriculture, and more. Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for its two prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024. The company’s expanding UK operations are supported by grants from UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council. For more, please visit ZeroAvia.com, follow @ZeroAvia on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Source: ZeroAvia

UK project unveils plans for a new liquid hydrogen plane.

  • Passengers could one day fly anywhere in the world with no carbon emissions as £15 million UK project unveils designs for a new liquid hydrogen plane
  • This comes as 8 companies secure the go-ahead for their sustainable aviation fuel developments from the government’s separate £15 million Green Fuel, Green Skies competition
  • Officials and industry leaders today discussed progress towards achieving zero carbon emission flight at the fourth meeting of the Jet Zero Council

Passengers could one day fly to the other side of the world with zero carbon emissions and just one refuelling stop, thanks to government-funded technology being unveiled today. The concept aircraft was today (6 December 2021) unveiled by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) ahead of the fourth meeting of the Jet Zero Council, which is chaired by the Transport Secretary. The FlyZero project, led by the ATI and funded by the government, has developed a concept for a midsize aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen. It is capable of flying 279 passengers halfway around the world without a stop or anywhere in the world with just one stop to refuel. This means that a zero carbon, non-stop flight could be operated between London and San Francisco, or that passengers could fly around the world from London to Auckland, New Zealand with just one stop, at the same speed and comfort as today’s aircraft. The project showcases the huge potential of liquid hydrogen powered aircraft as the UK drives for a cleaner and greener air travel future and builds on progress already achieved by the Jet Zero Council, a partnership between industry and government with the aim of delivering zero emission transatlantic flight within a generation.

The council will today meet for the fourth time, ahead of International Civil Aviation Day on 7 December.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

As we build back greener, it’s crucial that we place sustainability at the heart of the aviation industry’s recovery from COVID-19. This pioneering design for a liquid hydrogen powered aircraft, led by a British organisation, brings us one step closer to a future where people can continue to travel and connect but without the carbon footprint. I will continue to work closely with the Jet Zero Council to support the UK’s world-leading research in this sector, which will create green jobs, help us meet our ambitious net zero targets and lead the global transition to net zero aviation.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

These designs could define the future of aerospace and aviation. By working with industry, we are showing that truly carbon-free flight could be possible with hydrogen a front-runner to replace conventional fossil fuels. Fuelling planes sustainably will enable the public to travel as we do now, but in a way that doesn’t damage the planet. It will not only help us to end our contribution to climate change, but also represents a huge industrial opportunity for the UK.

Jet Zero Council CEO Emma Gilthorpe said:

The Aerospace Technology Institute’s pioneering research highlights the potential for hydrogen in realising zero-carbon global connectivity. This ground-breaking green technology looks set to play a critical role in decarbonising flight and through the work of the Jet Zero Council, the UK aviation sector is exploring all avenues to ensure we protect the benefits of flying for future generations while cutting the carbon cost.

FlyZero Project Director Chris Gear said:

At a time of global focus on tackling climate change, our midsize concept sets out a truly revolutionary vision for the future of global air travel keeping families, businesses and nations connected without the carbon footprint. This new dawn for aviation brings with it real opportunities for the UK aerospace sector to secure market share, highly skilled jobs and inward investment while helping to meet the UK’s commitments to fight climate change. Another technology with the potential to decarbonise flying is sustainable aviation fuel, a low-carbon fuel made from waste materials. Earlier this year, the UK government set out its ambition to become a world leader in the production of sustainable aviation fuel, launching the £15 million Green Fuel, Green Skies competition to support the early development of trailblazing UK facilities working to turn everyday waste into jet fuel. The shortlisted winners, 8 industry-led projects that will receive a share of the £15 million in funding, have now had their final funding agreements confirmed by the Department for Transport. Today’s announcement comes shortly after the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, which saw ambitious new international pledges to decarbonise transport, including the agreement by 24 countries – representing around half of global aviation emissions – to work together to achieve a new aviation decarbonisation goal.

Source: GOV.UK

The Energia designs, which include hybrid, all-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft, are part of an aviation industry pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Aircraft being developed span 9 to 50 seats and electric, hydrogen fuel cell, dual-fuel gas turbine and hybrid-electric propulsion.

Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer, announced the Energia family of concept aircraft that it is exploring to help the industry achieve its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The details of the Energia family — released to coincide with the COP26 climate gathering in Glasgow — were broadcast live via YouTube from Embraer’s manufacturing facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

The company has partnered with an international consortium of engineering universities, aeronautical research institutes and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to better understand energy harvesting, storage, thermal management and their applications for sustainable aircraft propulsion.

The Energia family comprises four concept aircraft that incorporate different propulsion technologies: electric, hydrogen fuel cell, dual fuel gas turbine and hybrid-electric. With various combinations of range and technology, Embraer says it sees a potential market for some 4,000 airplanes.

As reported by Reuters reporters Gabriel Araujo and Tim Hepher, the two nine-seaters could be flown by a single pilot. The 19-seater is powered by hydrogen-based fuel cells and the 35-50-seater is designed to use hydrogen on short routes, backed up by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for extra range and emergency reserves.

As reported by Reuters, these designs are the result of work kept under wraps for two years and would address a gap between the new eVTOL or flying-taxi industry and 50-seater turboprops or small jets. Embraer believes that small regional planes will be the first to embrace breakthrough technologies like hydrogen, ahead of the larger narrow-body commercial jetliners.

“It’s a segment where we believe a lot of opportunities lie ahead,” Arjan Meijer, chief executive of Embraer Commercial Aviation, told Reuters in an interview.

Embraer said it was open to partnerships to develop the planes, which would be competing in what has historically been a volatile niche of the aircraft industry.

Reuters reports Embraer Marketing Vice President Rodrigo Silva e Souza as saying the rejigging of global supply chains and a trend towards working remotely would put greater emphasis on flying short distances.

Meanwhile, Embraer is proceeding with plans for smaller eVTOL aircraft through a spin-off called Eve Urban Air Mobility. The fully-electric, zero-emissions vertical take off and landing vehicle is being developed to enter service in 2026.

Embraer also continues to seek financial or industrial partners to help launch a proposed new turboprop, Meijer told Reuters. It has hinted at a possible decision early next year.

“We see our role as a developer of novel technologies to help the industry achieve its sustainability targets,” explained Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s senior VP of engineering, technology and corporate strategy. “There’s no easy or single solution in getting to net zero. New technologies and their supporting infrastructure will come online over time. We’re working right now to refine the first airplane concepts, the ones that can start reducing emissions sooner rather than later. Small aircraft are ideal on which to test and prove new propulsion technologies so that they can be scaled up to larger aircraft. That’s why our Energia family is such an important platform.”

“We will see a big transformation in our industry towards a more sustainable aviation,” added Meijer. “With 50 years of experience in developing, certifying and supporting regional aircraft, Embraer is in a unique position to make viable the introduction of new disruptive green technologies.”

Although the Energia airplanes are still on the drawing board, Embraer has already made advances in reducing emissions from its aircraft. Within its family of E-Jets, Embraer has already tested drop-in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), as well as mixes of sugarcane, camelina plant-derived fuel and fossil fuel. The company is targeting to have all Embraer aircraft SAF-compatible by 2030.

Last August, Embraer flew its Electric Demonstrator, a single-engine EMB-203 Ipanema, 100% powered by electricity. A full electric demonstrator flew this year and a hydrogen fuel cell demonstrator is planned for 2025.

Source: Ginger Gardiner, Composites World

Airbus

Airbus is developing the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. Hydrogen propulsion will help the company to deliver on this ambition. ZEROe concept aircraft enable the firm to explore a variety of configurations and hydrogen technologies that will shape the development of our future zero-emission aircraft.

Hydrogen propulsion to power future aircraft

All three ZEROe concepts are hybrid-hydrogen aircraft. They are powered by hydrogen combustion through modified gas turbine engines. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel for combustion with oxygen.

In addition, hydrogen fuel cells create electrical power that complements the gas turbine, resulting in a highly efficient hybrid-electric propulsion system. All of these technologies are complementary, and the benefits are additive.

Source: Airbus

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After years of searching, scientists have discovered a new plant-based aviation fuel to reduce the environmental impact of flying – according to an article by Euro News. The fuel is made from a type of mustard plant called Brassica carinata and could reduce aviation’s carbon footprint by as much as 70%. Since the plant is grown in the ‘off’ season and does not compete with other food crops, it won’t trigger food versus fuel issues. Additionally, growing carinata provides all the cover-crop benefits related to water quality, soil health, biodiversity and pollination. Petroleum-based aviation fuel costs 50 cents a liter, while producing sustainable aviation fuel from carinata ranges from 12 cents to $1.28 per liter. With proper economic incentives, the mustard fuel can become much cheaper and a viable alternative. 

After four years of searching, scientists have found a new plant-based aviation fuel that could significantly reduce the environmental impact of flying. The fuel is made from a type of mustard plant called Brassica carinata and could reduce carbon emissions by up to 68 per cent, according to research from the University of Georgia, US. The research, led by scientist Puneet Dwivedi, shows that this sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could be a “game-changer” in replacing petroleum.

“Carinata-based SAF could help reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector while creating economic opportunities and improving the flow of ecosystem services across the southern region,” says Dwivedi, associate professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. The aviation industry emits 2.5 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the US and is responsible for 3.5 per cent of global warming. Dwivedi’s findings come at an opportune moment. In September, President Joe Biden proposed a sustainable fuel tax credit as part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge. As part of the challenge, he has set the goal of a 20 per cent drop in aviation emissions by 2030 and achieving a fully zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.

Where is Brassica carinata grown?
The Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata, or SPARC, is a $15 million (€12.9m) project funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Through SPARC, researchers have spent the past four years investigating how to grow carinata in the Southeast of the country, exploring genetics and best practices for the highest crop and oil yield. With those answers in place, Dwivedi is confident about carinata’s role in supporting the regional economy and environment. “In the South, we can grow carinata as a winter crop because our winters are not as severe compared to other regions of the country,” he explains.

“Since carinata is grown in the ‘off’ season it does not compete with other food crops, and it does not trigger food versus fuel issues. Additionally, growing carinata provides all the cover-crop benefits related to water quality, soil health, biodiversity and pollination.” The missing piece of the puzzle, according to Dwivedi, is the lack of local infrastructure for crushing the seed and processing the oil into SAF. “Our results would be especially relevant to the state of Georgia, which is the sixth-largest consumer of conventional aviation fuel in the country, hosts the busiest airport in the world, and is home to Delta, a leading global airline company,” he says. “Carinata has the potential to be a win-win situation for our rural areas, the aviation industry, and most importantly, climate change.”

Source: Euro News Green, Maeve Campbell

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