Boeing has announced that it has set a target for its commercial aircraft to fly on 100 percent sustainable aviation biofuel by 2030. The move is part of Boeing’s effort to reduce carbon emissions produced by its aircraft. Boeing has said that it is already conducting test flights with aircraft that have replaced petroleum-based jet fuel with pure biofuel.
The company is making the move to address what it calls the “urgent challenge of climate change.” Boeing has worked with manufacturers and suppliers, including eight engine makers, to conduct biofuel tests that started in 2008 and gain approvals required in 2011. Boeing and FedEx worked together to conduct the first commercial flight using 100 percent biofuel in 2018.
That flight used a FedEx 777 freighter filled with biofuel. The aviation industry has committed to reducing emissions from aircraft by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050. To meet that rule, Boeing says aircraft need to be able to fly on 100 percent biofuels well before 2050.
Boeing also says that it’s industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change. The manufacturer says sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution for reducing aviation carbon emissions. It’s also working with regulators, engine manufacturers, and other industry stakeholders to ensure Boeing aircraft can fly on biofuels. Eventually, the entire aviation industry can run on sustainable jet fuel.
Current regulations require jet fuel to be mixed at a 50-50 ratio with regular jet fuel. Boeing also plans to work with regulatory bodies across the industry to make changes allowing aircraft to fly on 100 percent biofuel. The US Department of Energy says that sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent over the fuel lifecycle and could reach 100 percent in the future.