Olive Pits Fuel Flights from Seville

Biofuel from olive pits and other organic waste cut carbon dioxide emissions of more than 200 flights by 200 tons.
By Daniel Dawson
Dec. 1, 2022 13:48 UTC

Olive pits, used cook­ing oil and other veg­etable remains were con­verted into bio­fuel for more than 200 air­planes that flew from Seville air­port at the end of November.

According to Cepsa, the bio­fuel man­u­fac­turer, flights from six sep­a­rate air­lines used 4.5 per­cent of the sus­tain­able avi­a­tion fuel in their tanks. The European-wide goal for sus­tain­able avi­a­tion fuel incor­po­ra­tion is two per­cent by 2025.

See Also:Tourist Train in Provence Partially Fueled by Olive-Pit Biofuel

The com­pany said the ini­tia­tive avoided 200 tons of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions. Overall, they argue that replac­ing jet fuel with bio­fuel would reduce emis­sions from avi­a­tion by up to 90 per­cent.

Most jet fuel is kerosene based with var­i­ous addi­tives to pre­vent con­geal­ing, lower the freez­ing point and raise the flash point.

We have seen that it is not nec­es­sary to make any changes in air­craft engines or in the sup­ply sys­tems of air­ports or air­craft to embrace this type of bio­fuel,” Javier Gándara, pres­i­dent of the national air­lines asso­ci­a­tion, told local media. It is pos­si­ble to mix sus­tain­able fuel with con­ven­tional kerosene.”

According to Our World in Data, a non-profit, fly­ing accounted for about 2.5 per­cent of global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions and 1.9 per­cent of total green­house gas emis­sions before the start of the Covid-19 pan­demic.

The orga­ni­za­tion esti­mated that avi­a­tion pro­duced 1.04 bil­lion tons of car­bon diox­ide alone in 2018.

See Also:Passenger Plane Flies 560 Kilometers Using Recycled Cooking Oil

Carlos Barrasa, Cepsa’s com­mer­cial and clean energy direc­tor, said the project plays an impor­tant role in the green tran­si­tion of the avi­a­tion sec­tor and would cre­ate new jobs in the region.

He said the com­pany plans to pro­duce 2.5 mil­lion tons of bio­fuel at its plant in south­west­ern Andalusia, of which 800,000 tons would be used for jet fuel.

Barrasa esti­mated that the cur­rent bio­mass gen­er­a­tion in the autonomous com­mu­nity and the world’s largest olive-grow­ing and olive oil-pro­duc­ing region could cover about 10 per­cent of avi­a­tion fuel demand from Seville air­port.

According to Tobi Pardo, the direc­tor of avi­a­tion and asphalt pro­duc­tion at Cepsa, the main lim­it­ing fac­tor in the wide­spread adop­tion of bio­fu­els for avi­a­tion is cost. He esti­mated bio­fuel pro­duc­tion costs two or three times more than tra­di­tional jet fuel.

Despite these lim­i­ta­tions, Cepsa expects to pro­duce enough bio­fuel to cover around 400,000 kilo­me­ters of flights from par­tic­i­pat­ing air­lines, a total of 400 and 500 fly­ing hours.


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