The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Make up for delays with domestic production of new aviation fuels

- (From

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes has become a challenge for decarboniz­ation. e use of a new fuel made from used cooking oil and other materials is said to be able to signi cantly reduce emissions.

As Europe is already ahead in the production and use of this fuel, Japan must not lag behind. Establishi­ng technology to produce the new fuel domestical­ly must be done urgently.

e Internatio­nal Civil Aviation Organizati­on, a specialize­d agency of the United Nations that promotes cooperatio­n in the eld of aviation, has adopted a goal to reduce CO2 emissions from internatio­nal ights to net-zero by 2050.

In order to achieve this goal, ICAO urges airline companies to reduce their emissions by at least 15% from the 2019 level starting in 2024. Japan is a key member of ICAO, and Japanese airline companies need to accelerate their response.

Aircra use jet fuel made from petroleum, emitting more CO2 than trains and other means of transporta­tion. e technologi­cal hurdles are high for airplanes to make progress in electri cation like automobile­s.

e most e ective method at present is to use new fuels made from materials such as waste cooking oil, ordinary garbage and algae. ese are called sustainabl­e aviation fuels (SAF).

Because SAF are mainly made from plants that absorb CO2, their production to actual use is said to produce 60%-80% fewer emissions than convention­al fuels.

e global supply of SAF, however, currently accounts for less than 1% of annual aviation fuel consumptio­n. e competitio­n to procure SAF is likely to intensify in the future. Japan has not been able to produce SAF commercial­ly and has no choice but to import the fuel from Western nations.

If a shortage of SAF emerges in Japan, foreign airlines may hesitate to y to Japan in the future. For Japan, an island nation, this will be a matter of survival.

e government has establishe­d a public-private consultati­ve committee of airline companies, oil companies and other entities with the aim to domestical­ly produce SAF in scal 2025. e government also has set a goal of using SAF for 10% of fuel used by Japanese airline companies by 2030.

Along with the government’s moves to promote the use of SAF, companies are urged to stir themselves into action on this issue. For rms that supply SAF, this will be an area in which demand can be said to surely increase. It is essential for them to step forward with aggressive investment.

Eneos Corp., a petroleum wholesaler, and major trading house Mitsubishi Corp. are jointly considerin­g commercial­izing the supply of SAF in Japan. Euglena Co., a health food company that uses euglena microalgae, is aiming to mass-produce SAF made from algae and waste cooking oil.

Cooperatio­n among a wide range of industries, including food, restaurant and retail sales, is also important in securing waste cooking oil. It is said there is a movement among overseas suppliers to purchase waste cooking oil in Japan.

e public and private sectors must work together to create a system to prevent the out ow of waste cooking oil overseas and e ciently collect the material.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Japan