SPANISH energy company Repsol has produced the national market’s first batch of aviation biofuel. The 7,000 t batch, which was derived from biomass, will prevent 440 t of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
Spain’s Integrated National Climate and Energy Plan 2021–2030 acknowledges biofuels as the most widely available and widely used renewable technology in transport. Furthermore, it adds that in sectors such as aviation, such fuel will continue to be the only way to reduce fossil fuel use over the coming years.
The biojet – biomass-derived jet fuel – produced by Repsol has a less than 5% biocontent to meet standards established by international specifications. Additionally, it has passed the “demanding” tests such products require, says Repsol.
According to Repsol, this recent milestone allows it to advance in the production of low-carbon industries, where alternatives like electrification are not currently viable. The company will continue to manufacture additional batches at its facilities across Spain and through initiatives using biofuels from waste at a later time.
Repsol says that due to the importance of biofuels in reducing emissions, it began working on different low-carbon solutions for transportation several years ago. The company’s focus on promoting biofuels, as well as renewable generation, synthetic fuels, green hydrogen, self-consumption, and the circular economy, is a key line of work as the company aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In December 2019, Repsol outlined plans to achieve this goal.
Aviation biofuel is a biofuel used for aircraft. It is considered by some to be the primary means by which the aviation industry can reduce its carbon footprint. After a multi-year technical review from aircraft makers, engine manufacturers, and oil companies, biofuels were approved for commercial use in July 2011. Since then, some airlines have experimented with using biofuels on commercial flights. The focus of the industry has now turned to second generation sustainable biofuels (sustainable aviation fuels) that do not compete with food supplies nor are major consumers of prime agricultural land or freshwater. NASA has determined that 50% aviation biofuel mixture can cut air pollution caused by air traffic by 50–70%.