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Open Access Sustainable Aviation Fuels : Status, challenges and prospects of drop-in liquid fuels, hydrogen and electrification in aviation

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Aviation fuel demand is expected to continue to grow over the next decades and continue to rely heavily on kerosene fuel for use in jet engines. While efficiency and operational improvements are possible ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, decarbonisation will need to heavily rely on low carbon kerosene drop-in alternatives. Currently, alternative fuels make up a very small share of fuel used in aviation, but their commercialisation is making good progress. Hydrogen offers a longer-term alternative fuel option but requires aircraft design and fuelling infrastructure changes. Electrification is emerging as an option for providing propulsion in aircraft, either in pure form in small aircraft or in hybrid mode in larger aircraft. This paper reviews the status, challenges and prospects of alternative fuels and electrification in aviation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: E4tech Ltd 83 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0HW UK

Publication date: July 1, 2020

This article was made available online on February 14, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Sustainable Aviation Fuels".

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  • Johnson Matthey's international journal of research exploring science and technology in industrial applications. The Johnson Matthey Technology Review publishes reviews, articles, book reviews, conference reviews, short reports and abstracts focused on science and technology in a range of areas relevant to industry.

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