Replacing traditional aircraft fuel with sustainable fuel blends may help reduce the impact of aviation on global warming by producing fewer and cleaner contrail clouds, according to US and German scientists at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, or the German Aerospace Centre.
Contrails contribute to warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The researchers measured soot and ice crystals in the contrail clouds behind an Airbus A320 aircraft using one of five different fuel blends, ranging from conventional aircraft fuel to sustainable fuels low in aromatic compounds. The results suggest contrails from aircraft burning sustainable fuel blends could contain 50 to 70 percent less soot and ice particles compared to conventional fuels, and would warm the atmosphere less.
A second, independent study by Bernd Kärcher, published in the same journal, used mathematical simulations to show that a previously discovered climate cooling effect by which aircraft soot particles interact with existing aircraft-induced clouds to reflect sunlight back into space may be smaller than thought.
Taken together, the results from both studies suggest that more widespread use of fuels low in aromatic compounds could help reduce the climate impact of aviation by reducing its overall warming effects.
In 2019, a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation said CO2 emissions were rising up to 70 percent faster than what they had predicted.
It's unknown what effect this research will have on the chemtrail conspiracy theory community.