Pollution levels in the world today have become like a Trojan horse virus; making it very difficult to deal with. Global warming due to air pollution has become a major issue due to various gasses emitted by different modes of transport. Scientists around the world are working towards solving this issue. Such pollution levels are a constant threat for civilization and so big names like NASA are working towards a greener future generation. NASA’s recent study showed that jet planes powered by biofuels emit up to 50-70 percent less pollution; helping to progress towards less polluted air travel.
Pollution caused by Jet Engine Emissions
Typically, laymen believe that emissions of jet engines causes such humongous level of pollution. However, the truth is not limited to just the emissions; but also includes pollution caused by the condensation trails. To explain it in a simpler way; soot particles emit out of the engine along with the water vapor; which forms ice crystals at such high altitudes. The long and white trails of ice crystal concentrations; seen in the skies are a result of this. Moreover, it takes time to dissipate; thereby forming cirrus clouds in the layers of atmosphere.
The fur type white clouds that you witness from an air plane is actually a blanket of such cirrus clouds; adding up to the global warming by increasing temperature in the air by 10 degree Celsius, beneath these clouds. Since it is said that biofuels decrease the formation of such contrails; it can help reduce the levels of global warming considerably.
Study on Biofuel emissions by NASA
Journal Nature published the study and findings by NASA and its team of researchers. According to reports, NASA has created a strong team by gathering researchers from Canada and Germany. As a matter of fact, jet engines emit almost 800 million tons of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) in the atmosphere, during the course of travel. This damages the layers of the atmosphere at unimaginable levels. NASA reportedly carried out various tests to address these issues; out of which biofuels and their usage in jet engines showed positive results.
The tests were done at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Center, in California. A DC-8 was flown out of Armstrong Flight Center by NASA which used different fuels for each trip. The DC-8 was surrounded by three planes at the distances of around 250 meters; which monitored it and collected samples of the exhaust fuel for testing. This fuel is made of a mixture of hydro-processed esters and fatty acids extracted from camelina plant oil. The series of tests showing positive results was a part of ACCESS – Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions Study.
NASA working towards the Future of Biofuels
At the Sea-Tac, Boeing, Alaska Airlines and Port of Seattle have partnered to work towards the availability of Biofuel for almost every flight. On the other hand, NASA and its team of researchers will continue their studies in the direction of developing Biofuel for jet engines and different aircrafts. Undoubtedly Biofuel has many potential benefits, but it’s still a long way to be able to see its usage on a regular basis.