Ryanair Founder Unimpressed by SAF Plans | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On YouTube

Airborne-Unlimited-06.10.24

Airborne-NextGen-06.11.24

Airborne-Unlimited-06.12.24 Airborne-FltTraining-06.13.24

Airborne-Unlimited-06.14.24

Sat, Dec 30, 2023

Ryanair Founder Unimpressed by SAF Plans

Scale Will Prove Very Difficult to Achieve in a 100% Sustainable Industry

Ryanair founder Micheal O'Leary got a focus piece in the papers recently, putting together a melange of quotes and firebrand moments recapping the chief's polarizing statements in recent years.

While much of it is the usual pokery of "shocking" content (jokes about disruptive environmental activists being best punished with firing squads), his frank statements about the nature of Sustainable Aviation Fuels are worth noting.

O'Leary is unimpressed by concepts showing a global aviation industry thriving solely off of SAF, finding them fanciful given the necessary quantities. Instead, he wants more realistic approaches to hit net zero goals, like reductions in ATC delays and inefficient routings. Those two things are good for 20 to 25% fuel reductions fleetwide, in his estimation.

“They’re a wheeze," said O'Leary. "Unless governments get in behind the production and sourcing of sustainable aviation fuels – and they’re only going to come from, ultimately, the oil majors, the only ones who are going to make them – I don’t see where we will get the supply in the volumes we need. You want everybody running around collecting fucking cooking oil? There isn’t enough cooking oil in the world to power more than one day’s aviation."

SAF is generally sourced from waste oils used in cooking, collected from eateries and service providers before being treated with processes that break the long carbon chains into a closer approximation of Jet A. So far, in the small quantities of SAF made, it's been easy to find enough organic hydrocarbons, vegetable oils, fats, and fatty acids - but a widespread collection process remains a long way off. Collection points, trucking systems to bring smaller nodes into centralized storage facilities, then the transit to refineries all remains to be borne out in reality. Public awareness of waste oil collection remains extremely low, aside from some cute pilot projects in airports looking to recapture some in the public eye. With somewhere around 217 million metric tons of vegetable oils produced each year, about 144 million tons fewer than fuels produced (using some very loose napkin-back math). That's not accounting for the loss from vegetable oil use or disparity between waste oil in and SAF out, either. If SAF is to be the sole source of aviation fuels in the future, there's much work to be done at a scale most consumers can hardly fathom.

Despite his reticence towards the overall concept, O'Leary is a businessman at heart, and knows the best way to keep the government buttstock from his company's back is to enthusiastically embrace the cause du jour, even if he has personal misgivings about its potential. Ryanai inked deals to get almost 10% of its fuel in SAF by 2030. O'Leary says it's up in the air though, adding "we have no idea that they’ll be able to make those kinds of volumes.”

So what's the realistic method to tackle carbon emissions? Aside from low-hanging fruit like ATC delays and routing, he thinks the automotive world will have to pull a lot of weight. “If you can move that to an electric fleet," said O'Leary, "It’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere close to net zero by 2050.”

FMI: www.ryanair.com

Advertisement

More News

ANNouncement: Now Accepting Applications For Oshkosh 2024 Stringers!!!

An Amazing Experience Awaits The Chosen Few... Oshkosh, to us, seems the perfect place to get started on watching aviation recover the past couple of years... and so ANN is putting>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (06.13.24)

“NBAA has a tremendous responsibility to the business aviation industry, and we are constantly collaborating with them. Our flight departments, professionals and aircraft own>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (06.13.24): Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning Dead reckoning, as applied to flying, is the navigation of an airplane solely by means of computations based on airspeed, course, heading, wind direction, and speed,>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.13.24)

Aero Linx: Vertical Aviation Safety Team (VAST) We are a public–private initiative to enhance worldwide flight operations safety in all segments of the vertical flight indust>[...]

ANN FAQ: How Do I Become A News Spy?

We're Everywhere... Thanks To You! Even with the vast resources and incredibly far-reaching scope of the Aero-News Network, every now and then a story that should be reported on sl>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2024 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC