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Chinese company signs agreement to build massive green aviation fuel plant — here's how it could impact transportation industry

The plant will depend on wind power, which will be used to produce green hydrogen.

The plant will depend on wind power, which will be used to produce green hydrogen.

Photo Credit: iStock

Chinese company Shanxi International Energy Group is investing $1.5 billion in a green aviation fuel plant that could produce more than 385,000 tons of e-kerosene a year, Hydrogen Insight reported.

The plant, located in the administrative region of Jarud Banner, Inner Mongolia, will depend on wind power, which will be used to produce green hydrogen. That hydrogen will then be combined with captured carbon dioxide to create e-kerosene that is chemically identical to traditional jet fuel.

Shanxi sealed the deal in an official signing ceremony with the People's Government of Jarud Banner.

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Conventional jet fuel is generally derived from crude oil, which is a planet-heating energy source. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, aviation is responsible for 3.5% of the pollution that is overheating our planet.

Meanwhile, all of the oil, coal, and natural gas we use to power our lives accounts for a whopping 75% of all planet-warming pollution. 

Green solutions like the e-kerosene being developed in Mongolia can help us reduce our dependence on dirty energy sources and avoid the worst impacts of a warming climate. The overheating of our planet causes more dangerous storms that threaten public safety and property, more frequent droughts that impact our crops and availability of drinking water, and rising sea levels that endanger coastal communities. 

This is one of several green jet fuel projects set to make the aviation industry more sustainable. For instance, scientists in Switzerland have created a "solar tower" that pulls carbon pollution and water from the air and then uses the sun's energy to convert them into jet fuel. Plus, a refinery in Georgia plans to produce 9 million gallons of alternative fuel annually, sourced from what the company calls "low-carbon-intensity" ethanol. 

Additionally, airlines are increasingly expressing interest in powering their planes with plant-based ethanol fuel. In 2023, United Airlines signed a deal with a Nebraska ethanol company to power 50,000 flights each year, while Delta announced plans to launch a sustainable fuel hub in Minnesota.

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