Washington, DC

United Airlines Uses 100% Sustainable Fuel


An airplane flies above large buildingsPhoto by宅-KEN on Pixabay

In 2021, United Airlines flew the first passenger aircraft with 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

In December, 2021, 115 passengers flew from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Washington, DC. That flight was the first in the world to do so with one engine running on 100-percent non-petroleum-based sustainable fuel made from sugar water and corn. The fuel reportedly burns up to 75 percent cleaner than petroleum-based fuels. This fuel delivers comparable performance of conventional jet fuel but with a markedly smaller carbon footprint. According to an article by Cision,

"Neste's SAF reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions ("GHG") by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel and burns cleaner than conventional jet fuel reducing non-CO2 emissions, including particulate matter (PM). Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is produced from 100% sustainably sourced renewable waste and residue raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste."

“Sustainable aviation fuel can be made from any of 60 different feedstocks — among them plant oils, algae, greases, fats, waste streams, alcohols, sugars, captured CO2 and other alternative feedstock sources and processes.”

Why this news was good:

Producing fuel from plants and other feedstock sources will eventually allow the aviation industry to reduce their carbon footprint by up to 80%. The eventual goal is to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In early 2022, United became the first U.S. Airline to sign an agreement to buy overseas sustainable fuel. According to this same article, United Airlines has invested more in SAF production than any other airline to date. As competing airlines follow this example, both customers and the environment will benefit.

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Judy Derby has worked in the surrounding communities as a social worker and advocate. providing resources and information to help local families meet their basic needs. She's been writing about social issues and related topics for over 10 years.

Antlers, OK

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