An Airbus A320neo Takes Off Powered by the First Batch of Chinese Sustainable Fuel

A China Eastern Airlines A320neo took off powered by SAF for the first time 7 photos
Photo: Airbus
A319neoA320neo FamilyA320A320A321neoChina Eastern Airlines A320neo flies powered by SAF
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)’s potential as the fastest and most reliable way to decarbonize commercial aviation is undeniable, but there’s still a long way to go until it will be used in high percentage. A big part of this evolution also has to do with making it more easily available all around the world.
Voices in the aviation industry have stated over and over that SAF is the best solution that we have at the moment for dropping CO2 levels caused by commercial flights. This fuel can be obtained from different types of sources, ranging from used cooking oil to animal fat and forestry waste. The goal is for airliners to fly with 100% SAF in their engines by the end of this decade. Most new-generation aircraft are already certified to operate with a blend of 50% SAF and kerosene.

Airbus is certainly one of the leaders when it comes to promoting this alternative fuel. It has already accomplished several SAF-powered test flights on aircraft such as the A319neo, A350, and A380, as well as on helicopters. And it’s also working with different countries, including Japan and Australia, to develop the local SAF production market.

Its most recent milestone is connected to China. Not only did an A320neo for China Eastern Airlines take off for the first time using SAF, but the fuel came from the first batch ever produced in China. SINOPEC Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Company, a state-owned company, is the only certified facility in the country for producing SAF, which it makes by recycling cooking oil.

Fuel from the pioneering company’s first batch was used to power this trailblazing flight. The A320neo took to the sky from the Airbus Delivery Center in Tianjin with a 5% SAF fuel blend in its engines.

It might not seem like a lot, but it’s the first step in kick-starting the production of sustainable aviation fuel for this huge market. This comes after the Australian Qantas airline signed a partnership with Airbus earlier this year to fund the local production of green jet fuel. In order to unlock this fuel’s potential of drastically reducing CO2 emissions, production needs to be ramped up globally.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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