Air transport is a high-growth sector. It currently accounts for around 8% of world oil consumption. Against a backdrop of fossil fuel depletion and a drive to combat climate change, the environmental impact of air transport needs to be taken into account.
In this context, alternative fuels can play a crucial role.
Since the mid-1980s, air traffic has grown by between 5 and 6% per year on average. This growth is likely to continue in the coming decades at the same steady rate. If these forecasts are correct, world air traffic is set to double by 2025.
The main lever for action is improved efficiency of aircraft engines. In this area, alternative fuels can play a crucial role: due to their chemical composition and low sulfur content, biofuels can substantially reduce particle and pollutant emissions.
Ambitious objectives in terms of the incorporation of biofuels and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions have been announced for the transport sector, for the aviation industry in particular.
In the most recent European Commission and Parliament directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (Directive 2009/28/EC), a target incorporation rate of at least 10% renewable energy by 2020 has been set in the transport sector for all Member states.
The term drop-in is applied to alternative fuels when they can be incorporated in any proportions in standard fuels without affecting their properties.
To be mixed with kerosene, these alternative fuels need to meet the following requirements:
Example of IFPEN joint work in this field: the Carboperl system developed in partnership with max perlès
The CARBOPERL system, which was developed to protect the interior of steel or concrete tanks or pipes in contact with motor fuels and bio-fuels, i.e. (bio)-gasoline and (bio)-diesel, was the subject of further joint work with IFPEN with a view to validating this system for current and future aviation fuels: jet fuel and bio-jet fuel.