An eco-factory producing aviation fuel from ordinary water has been launched in Germany
Germany has launched an eco-factory producing synthetic kerosene, a new type of aviation fuel using water, carbon dioxide and electricity. The plant is part of the government's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Aviation accounts for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While the electrification of airplanes is a difficult task in itself, the opening of this factory is another step towards making the aviation industry greener. The era of burning coal, oil and natural gas is gradually coming to an end. Experts note that synthetic fuel can replace fossil fuels without requiring serious technical changes in airplanes.
Using electricity generated by four nearby wind farms, the plant produces hydrogen from water, which then reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide. As a result, crude oil is produced, from which synthetic kerosene is processed. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from the combustion of this synthetic kerosene is equal to the carbon dioxide absorbed in its production, which makes this fuel "carbon neutral".
But the amount of fuel the plant can produce starting early next year is small, only eight barrels (about 1,272 liters) a day. That would be enough to fuel 1 small passenger plane every three weeks.
By comparison, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), total fuel consumption by commercial airlines worldwide reached 2.3 billion barrels (360 billion liters) in 2019.
Those in charge of the project state that their goal is to demonstrate that the process of obtaining ecologically clean fuel is technologically feasible and only has the problem of obtaining sufficient financial support.