Aviation is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and negatively impacting environmental practices, but it is making progress to innovate and instead help protect the environment. In the spirit of this, Virgin Atlantic will make its first flight across the Atlantic using only 100% sustainable jet fuel (SAF).
The fuel consists of waste products and delivers CO2 life cycle emissions 70% lower than fossil fuel, while supposedly performing like traditional jet fuel. While this sounds promising, the reason SAF is not yet used exclusively is because less than 0.1% of global jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The idea of this flight is to prove that a 100% blend is safe and possible, and that this will hopefully lead to the scale-up and wider implementation of SAF.
It is said that the SAF used during this flight will be an 88-12% blend, with most of the fuel being hydrogen-processed esters and fatty acids and the remainder being synthetic aromatic kerosene.
Speaking about the flight, Virgin Atlantic founder, Richard Branson, stated: “I could not be prouder to be aboard Flight100 today, along with Virgin Atlantic’s teams and our partners, who have worked together to chart the flight path to decarbonize long-haul aviation.”