Biofuel: Why Its Adoption Has Been Challenging

Biofuel: Why Its Adoption Has Been Challenging

Last week, I posted a story on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the efforts the company is taking to upgrade to more sustainable air travel. You can find the story here:

Last week, I posted a story on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the efforts the company is taking to upgrade to more sustainable air travel. You can find the story here:

How Scandinavian Airlines Is Paving The Way For Sustainable Air Travel

A personal perspective

medium.com

A few people reached out to me and expressed their reservations on biofuel as the solution for the current CO2 usage paradigm in aviation. I cannot say that biofuel is the singular key for unlocking sustainable air travel for three main reasons:

  1. I don’t think there is one general answer to all.
  2. Such a statement would greatly surpass my areas of expertise.
  3. More research is necessary to understand the viability of using biofuel at a larger scale.

Nevertheless, I think the evolution of biofuels during the last decades is a topic worthy of further analysis and disclosure. Even more so when sustainability is an increasingly important topic post-pandemic.

With these points in mind, I decided to venture out and try to understand the larger impact of biofuels, its advancements in production and commercialization, and the effects that increased demand for this good could have on society.


In 2018, the production of aviation biofuel reached 15 million liters, according to the International Energy Agency. By 2030, production should hit 31 billion liters just to meet the 10% estimated consumption.

Yet, for the general public, biofuels still carry the stigma of promoting deforestation practices, destabilizing the food industry, and producing more carbon dioxide than they save.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a special report addressing biofuel production practices “Bioenergy needs to be carefully managed to avoid risks to food security, biodiversity, and land degradation. Desirable outcomes will depend on locally appropriate policies and governance systems.” (Special Report on Climate Change and Land, IPCC, 2019). This statement reinforces the need for sustainable handling and management of biofuel initiatives so as not to incur past mistakes.

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Photo by Jamie Morris on Unsplash

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