Washington: Jet fuel derived from a type of mustard plant can replace the petroleum-based aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions by up to 68 per cent, according to a study led by an Indian-origin scientist in the US.
The research, published in the journal GCB Bioenergy, estimated the break-even price and life cycle carbon emissions of the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived from oil obtained from Brassica carinata, a non-edible oilseed crop.
“If we can secure feedstock supply and provide suitable economic incentives along the supply chain, we could potentially produce carinata-based SAF in the southern US,” said Puneet Dwivedi, associate professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, US.
The researchers noted that the aviation industry emits 2.5 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions from the US and is responsible for 3.5 per cent of global warming.
“Carinata-based SAF could help reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector while creating economic opportunities and improving the flow of ecosystem services across the southern region,” said Dwivedi.
The price for producing SAF from carinata ranged from USD 0.12 per litre on the low end to USD 1.28 per litre, based on existing economic and market incentives, the researchers said.
The price for petroleum-based aviation fuel was USD 0.50 per litre — higher than carinata-based SAF when current economic incentives were included in the analysis, they said.
Dwivedi is part of the Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata, or SPARC, a USD 15 million project funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.