Boeing today announced that it will begin to deliver commercial airplanes capable of flying using 100% biofuel, or sustainable aviation fuel, by 2030.
In order to power aircraft with biofuel, or fuel derived from living matter, Boeing will need to work with engine makers and change its aircraft systems, and also achieve safety certification by global regulators.
The International Air Transport Association has a goal of cutting carbon emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050, so Boeing’s biofuel target is 2030, as jetliners typically stay in service for around 20 years.
Commercial flying currently accounts for about 2% of all carbon dioxide emissions and about 12% of all transport emissions, according to the Air Transport Action Group. Around 80% of aviation emissions are emitted from flights of over 932 miles (1,500 kilometers), for which there is no practical alternative mode of transport.
Boeing has successfully flown using 100% biofuel before. In May 2018, it achieved the world’s first commercial airplane flight from Seattle to Memphis round-trip using 100% biofuel on a FedEx Corp 777 freighter.