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Boeing showcases eco-friendly tech as industry faces pressure By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. An Aeromexico Boeing 737 Max 9 cockpit was pictured at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International airport on July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Cortes/File Photo

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing (NYSE:) Co showcased efforts to boost efficiency in its aircraft on Monday, a week after rival Airbus staged a similar conference, as global aviation faces growing political pressure to cut emissions and demands by environmental groups for curbs to air travel.

While the U.S. planemaker is not the only company in the sector promoting greener products, it is one of several that are doing so. However, debate continues about how fast new technology will become mainstream.

Boeing had a Boeing 737 MAX 9 flight demonstrator with possible upgrades, including a drag-reducing warning indicator and cabin sidewalls made of recycled carbon fiber.

Boeing Vice President for Product Development Mike Sinnett stated that many of the improvements are made with small details. He spoke to employees of Boeing, government and industry officials as well as media.

According to the industry, aviation produces up to 3 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions while transport emits 12%. They have pledged to cut net carbon emissions at half of 2005 levels by 2020.

Airbus Europe last year revealed plans to build a hydrogen-powered plane starting in 2035.

Boeing has, on the other hand, emphasized increased use sustainable aviation fuels. These are produced from feedstocks like animal fat and cooking oils. But it does not exclude future technology advancements.

SAF are important, as there are many aircraft already in flight. Sinnett later told reporters that the airplanes which will enter service in the next 10 years are already designed and certified.

He stated that to make a meaningful impact on the world, “we will need to… increase our use of sustainablefuels.” He called hydrogen “a longer-term strategy.”

Boeing promised its fleet that it would use 100% sustainable aviation fuels in 2030.

SAF currently accounts for a small amount of global jet fuel usage, and certified jet engines can run on as much as 50% of that fuel.

Two of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world delivered planes worth 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their entire lives. However, this figure is lowered due to lower delivery rates during the coronavirus epidemic.

According to a source familiar with the plans, Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 ecoDemonstrator is scheduled to fly to Glasgow in advance of a United Nations Climate Change Conference (November).

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