The environmental damage caused by jet engines in aviation has often been a matter of debate. Electric airplanes and airplanes using alternative fuels also come to the fore frequently to improve this situation. A group of researchers at the University of Oxford have succeeded in converting CO2 to jet fuel. This paved the way for us to see planes operating with net zero emissions.
Time is needed for jet fuel obtained from CO2 to be used in aircraftOxford University researchers have reversed the fuel burning process, based on the organic combustion method. They heated a mixture of citric acid, hydrogen, and iron-manganese-potassium catalyst to convert CO2 into liquid fuel that would power jet engines.
This method is low cost and simple. Cheaper than converting hydrogen and water into fuel. But there are many obstacles to using the method in airplanes. Researchers were only able to produce a few gums of fuels in a lab setting. For now, the method can serve as a basis for future work. Passenger planes spend tons of fuel for each flight. Therefore, it is clear that a more efficient method is needed for CO2 capture and conversion in the long term.
There are many projects related to electric planes and alternative fuels. Airbus has introduced electric aircraft projects such as CityAirbus, E-Fan X, Vahana, E-Fan 1.1, E-Fan 1.0 and eGenius in the last 10 years. The company announced the concept of 3 hydrogen fueled aircraft last September. Last year, a Swiss team introduced the Smartflyer SFX1, a 4-seat hybrid aircraft. The plane is expected to be in the sky in 2023.
The researchers stated that there were no obstacles to furthering their work and that they are in talks with industrial partners. In the future, the necessity for aircraft to switch to electric motors or alternative fuels has become even more inevitable in the current crisis environment of the aviation industry.