New research has shown that by replacing petroleum-based aviation fuel with a plant-derived fuel, carbon emissions could be reduced by 68%.

This plant-derived aviation fuel would be obtained from a kind of mustard plant. Instead of using highly polluting petroleum as a base.

Dwivedi, associate professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, said, “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 United States. 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.”

Biden’s recent sustainable fuel tax credit also comes at an opportune time making it easier for people to grow crops to be made into SAF.

Dwivedi said, “In the South, we can grow carinata as a winter crop because our winters are not as severe compared to other regions of the country. Since carinata is grown in the ‘off’ season, it does not compete with other food crops, and it does not trigger food versus fuel issues. Additionally, growing carinata provides all the cover-crop benefits related to water quality, soil health, biodiversity, and pollination.”

This plant-sourced fuel could be the answer to greatly reducing carbon emissions when it comes to aircraft. Making all forms of flying more eco-friendly.

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