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Do You Have To Power Airplanes With Electricity?

7 Views· 02/23/23
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This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates. To learn more about his work on clean energy, visit https://gatesnot.es/2WDTJ1L

It’s hard to replace jet fuel because the alternatives aren’t energetic enough, are too dangerous, or aren’t yet being made at scale.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth and our YouTube members.
To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Jet fuel - a liquid petroleum fuel with high specific energy and energy density, used in airplane jet engines, made of kerosene with a few additives
Specific Energy - how much energy something contains per unit mass
Energy Density - how much energy something contains per unit volume
Synthetic jet fuel - a jet fuel replacement, typically aiming to have lower life cycle environmental impacts than jet fuel (AKA: sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), alternative jet fuel, renewable aviation fuel, renewable jet fuel, biojet fuel, sustainable alternative fuel)
Kerosene - a petroleum product that is the main component of jet fuel (and old fashioned lanterns)
If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
What you get from a barrel of oil - https://www.eia.gov/energyexpl....ained/oil-and-petrol
Real Engineering: Are Electric Planes Possible? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNvzZfsC13o&feature=youtu.be
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer and Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrators: Ever Salazar and Sarah Berman
Video Director: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder


ATAG. Nov 2017. Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Edition 3. https://bit.ly/2AcJLLW Accessed Jan 2020.

ATAG. “Producing sustainable aviation fuel” https://bit.ly/3gncnmh Accessed Jan 2020

Burton, Freya. Personal communication, Feb 2020

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Chuck, C. (Ed.). 2016. Biofuels for aviation: feedstocks, technology and implementation. Academic Press

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IATA. May 2019. “Sustainable Aviation Fuels Fact sheet.” https://bit.ly/2ZO2BDX Accessed Jan 2020

IATA. December 2019. "Fuel Fact Sheet." https://bit.ly/3dcJ0Ry Accessed March 2020

Le Feuvre, P. 18 March 2019. Are aviation biofuels ready for take off? https://bit.ly/2XA5R2T

Lehtveer, M., Brynolf, S., & Grahn, M. 2019. What Future for Electrofuels in Transport? Analysis of Cost Competitiveness in Global Climate Mitigation. Environmental science & technology, 53(3), 1690-1697. https://bit.ly/3d96QgX

McKinsey. Energy Resources. https://bit.ly/2M7pYzW Accessed December 2019.

Monroe Aerospace. 29 April 2019. Why Airplanes Use Kerosene Rather Than Plain Gasoline for Fuel. https://bit.ly/3d8FpnD

Searle, S. 15 Nov 2018. Decarbonizing aviation through low-carbon fuels will be beyond difficult. https://bit.ly/2zAN1kc

Shaw, R.J. 12 June 2014. "How does a jet engine work?" https://go.nasa.gov/2XOwG3F Accessed Jan 2020

Sindreu, J. 10 Jan 2020. The Promise of Sustainable Aviation Fuel Isn’t for Today. https://on.wsj.com/3gthykv

Wikipedia. "Nuclear Powered Aircraft” https://bit.ly/2ZGECGw Accessed Jan 2020.

Thanks also to Steve Thorne and Erik Pieh.

References for calculations

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