Fat from dead pigs, cattle and chickens is being used to make greener jet fuel, but a new study warns that this green alternative will only hurt the planet, according to the BBC.
Animal fat is considered waste, so jet fuel made from this material has a much lower carbon footprint.
Demand for animal by-product fuel is expected to triple by 2030, with airlines set to benefit the most from this fuel.
But experts fear the shortage will force other industries to use more palm oil – a huge generator of carbon emissions.
Airlines are under pressure to reduce their huge carbon dioxide emissions, which come mainly from burning fossil-based kerosene.
But the study by Transport & Environment, a group that promotes clean transport, points out that there simply aren’t enough animals being slaughtered each year to meet the growing demand for animal fat from airlines.
“There is no endless supply of animals”
“There is no endless supply of animals or animal fats,” said Matt Finch of Transport & Environment. “So if there is going to be a source of massive additional demand, anywhere from aviation, in that case, the industries where the grease is currently used, they’re going to have to look for alternatives. And this alternative is palm oil. So, indirectly, aviation will be responsible for increasing the amount of palm oil that will be used globally.”
Increased use of palm oil is linked to increased emissions as older forests, which store large amounts of carbon, are cleared for new plantations.
For centuries tallow and lard have been used to make candles, soaps and cosmetics.
However, over the past 20 years or so, biodiesel made from these animal wastes or cooking oils has been steadily increasing in the UK and other countries.
Across Europe, fuel from dead animals has increased forty-fold since 2006, according to new research.
Much of this material is used in cars and trucks in the form of biodiesel, which is classified as a sustainable fuel and as such has a much lower carbon footprint under current regulations.
How many dead pigs does it take to fuel an airplane?
According to Transport & Environment, a flight from Paris to New York would require fat from 8,800 dead pigs if all the fuel came from animal sources.
As the UK will restrict the use of animal products and used cooking oils, flights refueling in the UK are likely to have only small amounts of animal material in their engines.
In the EU, airlines will have a target of 6% sustainable aviation fuel by 2030, of which 1.2% must come from e-kerosene. Assuming that the remaining 4.8% is derived entirely from animal fat, approximately 400 pigs would be needed per transatlantic flight.
Editor : I.C