Imagine every plane in the sky was powered by spent cooking oil and grease. Sounds like pie in the sky? Well, we are one step closer this year.
In May Air France flight 342 took off from Charles de Gaulle airport with a 16% mix of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in its fuel tanks, produced from used cooking oil.
From next year all flights from France will be required to use sustainable aviation fuel albeit just 1%. This figure however is set to grow as new greener rules begin to impact aviation.
Aviation accounts for 3% of greenhouse gases and relies on an ever-depleting fuel source. It is not sustainable in the long term so other solutions need to be considered. Currently, using SAF is costly compared to Kerosine and there is push back from the aviation industry especially the low budget airlines.
But the cost of producing SAF will drop as demand increases, the rendering process becomes more efficient and the supply of the raw material more plentiful.
It is well documented that grease from used cooking is a useful source of biofuel powering many land vehicles for decades now. This step into aviation could be a catalyst for a more mainstream recognition of the benefits of recycling used oil.
Grease trap waste is less appealing in the process as it varies dramatically from application to application. However, Grease Guardian grease removals that filter out most solids, heat treat the waste inside and then skim the surface grease allowing for better external separation of oils could potentially assist with harvesting a better quality of used grease much closer to the cooking oil currently offered as a biofuel.
Cities with 5 thousand restaurants could potentially harvest 20 tonnes of quality grease a day for use as biofuel powering the vehicles that pass through and the planes that pass over above.
Grease Guardian is working with universities in the US and Italy to have its skim oil assessed and qualified as a reusable waste source for the biofuel industry that is much more effective than grease taken from traditional grease traps.
There are already hundreds of Grease Guardians in airports across the world now perhaps it’s time for them to start serving travellers in another way.