A new Royal Society policy briefing explores the resource and infrastructure requirements, environmental impacts, and outstanding research questions for the production and use of alternative aviation fuels.
Aviation accounted for 8% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. With air travel projected to continue growing globally, reducing the emissions associated with flying revolves around replacing fossil aviation fuel with a low or zero carbon energy source.
The UK government has committed to scale up manufacturing of ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ (SAFs) and make domestic flying ‘net zero by 2040’. This report evaluates the current evidence on alternative fuels – including biofuels, hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels – and the questions that remain to be answered.
Prof Graham Hutchings FRS, Regius Professor of Chemistry, Cardiff University and chair of the report working group
Prof Marcelle McManus, Director of the Institute for Sustainability, University of Bath
Prof David Lee, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Guy Gratton, Associate Professor of Aviation and the Environment, Cranfield University