Campaign aviation

Jet fuel quality: Tackling non-CO2 effects and air pollution

Mon, January 30, 2023

Watch recording

In 2020 the European Aviation Safety Agency published a landmark report which confirmed that non-CO2 effects account for two-thirds of aviation’s total climate impact. However, action on non-CO2 effects is still not accelerating fast enough.

One crucial way to reduce the non-CO2 effects of aviation is to improve the quality of jet fuel. This involves removing the aromatics content in the fuel through hydrotreatment. This is a low cost solution and already a well-established practice for improving the quality of petrol.

While the cost of hydrotreating jet fuel is low, the benefits are extensive, not just for the climate but also for public health. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that improving fuel quality also improves air quality, especially around airports.

In this webinar, preliminary findings from three new studies on low aromatic fuels by the International Council on Clean Transportation, CE Delft and Transport and Environment were presented. These studies look at the climate and social benefits of hydrotreating jet fuel, the air pollution benefits and the low cost impact. There was also a presentation from MEP Jutta Paulus on the political state of play around the non-CO2 effects of aviation and low aromatic fuels. The second half of the webinar consisted of a roundtable discussion on the industrial, economic and legal feasibility of hydrotreating jet fuel with Niels Bech from Kalundborg Refinery, Carly Hicks from Opportunity Green and Jayant Mukhopadhaya from The International Council on Clean Transportation.


Social costs and benefits of advanced aviation fuels

Air quality impact of aviation