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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Achieving Sustainability in Aviation


Over the past century, carbon emissions have continuously spiked to new levels every year. Subsequently the need for renewable and sustainable energy to be implemented into various industries is necessary now more than ever. The aviation sector is no exception; it remains one of the most popular forms of travel. Thus, it is crucial to consider its part in both carbon and overall emissions on a global scale. This report entails a comparative assessment of the benefits and flaws associated with aviation along with the advancement of incorporating sustainable aircraft technology. Additionally, I will be paying close attention to the patterns air travel emissions follow with respect to contributions from overall global emissions. Different forms of primary energy such as biofuels, electricity, and electrofuels are considered to analyze the benefits of their implementation. I also focus on methods of combustion, aerodynamics, design, and overall performance to aid me in comparing time sensitive implementations for the future of air travel. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and United Airlines’ use of a biofuel/jet fuel mixture is used as a case study to extrapolate emissions on a larger scale. Finally, I use short-term and long-term years (2035 and 2050, respectively) to conclude what reasonable implementations can support the decarbonization of air travel.

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