The Geographies of Air Transport by Budd Lucy Goetz Andrew R

The Geographies of Air Transport by Budd Lucy Goetz Andrew R

Author:Budd, Lucy, Goetz, Andrew R.
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Published: 2014-03-03T16:00:00+00:00

The Future Availability of Aviation Fuel

‘Peak oil’, the date at which the maximum rate of oil extraction is reached, has been projected for many years (Hubbert 1956), although there have been successive claims that additional reserves remain yet to be discovered or exploited (Longwell 2002). The International Energy Agency describes an optimistic outlook for future oil supplies, largely based on hydraulic fracturing (IEA 2012). However, the rapid industrialization and rise in consumption by developing economies, particularly the BRICS economies, has significantly increased the demand for oil (IEA 2012). Further, it is emerging that the extraction and refinement of some untapped oil reserves (particularly deep sea and oil shale reserves) will prove to be extremely costly in both economic and environmental terms (Longwell 2002). There is concern that global reserves of accessible fossil fuels will become a diminishing resource at the same time as demand for aviation fuel continues to grow (Schlumberger 2010; World Bank 2012). Concerns about long term fuel (in)security are driving the development of alternative aviation fuels that are derived from biological feedstocks such as algae and jatropha (see Gegg 2014). The latest generation of these fuels are now certified for commercial use and while concerns about costs and the production scales remain, a number of major airlines including Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and United have performed trial flights using fuels derived from different feedstocks in varying blends and reported no significant effect on aircraft performance (see Gegg et al. 2015).


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