Government could mandate blended aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions

NEW DELHI : The government is considering making it mandatory for airlines to blend sustainable fuel with the aviation fuel they use, underscoring the need to reduce carbon emissions, a senior official has said.

“We, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, as well as the Ministry of Petroleum, are working to impose a certain percentage of mixing as we move forward. It’s still ongoing,” Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said on Tuesday.

“We realize that unless there is a certain percentage of blending imposed over a period of time, demand will not be created and unless there is demand, production will not be there,” Bansal added.

The government has discussed the proposal with airlines, which agree with the mandate to blend jet fuel with sustainable fuel, he said.

However, the main challenges for the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel are capacity building and technology transfer.

“We are working with like-minded countries to build consensus on how this energy transition can happen, should happen and will happen, but it will happen at a pace that our industry can absorb,” he said. -he declares.

On September 16, Mint announced that the ministries of civil aviation and petroleum were working to release a roadmap for the sustainable use of aviation fuel.

Sustainable aviation fuel is any fuel that has similar properties to conventional jet fuel but generates lower carbon emissions.

The concept of sustainable aviation fuel among Indian airlines is still new. So far there have been a handful of demonstration flights with blended fuel to reduce carbon emissions. In 2018, SpiceJet operated the first such flight that operated on a blend of 75% aviation turbine fuel and 25% biojet fuel made from jatropha plant.

In December 2021, Indigo signed an agreement with the Dehradun-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIRIIP) to manufacture and deploy Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) globally. In February this year, the airline took delivery of an aircraft running on sustainable aviation fuel.

Airlines under the Tata umbrella signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Petroleum Institute (CSIR-IIP) in September to collaborate on research, development and deployment of fuels sustainable aviation.

The first periodic review of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Program for International Aviation (CORSIA) was conducted at the 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October 2022, where the Member States have committed to strive for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“India is expected to become a party to CORSIA from 2027 and this could involve a mandate to operate a minimum percentage of sustainable aviation fuel,” a senior aviation ministry official said.

“Incentives play a major role in such a transition. India’s approach to the mandate may create demand but we will have to wait and see what other measures are put in place for that demand to increase,” an aircraft manufacturer official said.

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