Aircraft CO2 Emissions

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Aircraft engines release a wide range of pollutants that can directly or indirectly raise atmosphere temperatures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the easiest pollutant to describe in terms of its production and effect. It is produced during the combustion of kerosene in direct proportion to kerosene consumption.

The amount of carbon dioxide emitted is a direct function of fuel consumption: 3.16 kilograms of CO2 are produced per kilogram of kerosene on aircraft engine combustion with ambient air. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years after it is emitted.

Aircraft fuel consumption substantially depends on the distance traveled. In principle, the absolute consumption is higher in total when the flight distance is greater. On short-haul flights, however, the relative consumption per 100 kilometres traveled is higher than that of medium-haul flights. The reason for this is that the take-off and initial climb require a great deal of energy and play a greater role on short-haul flights. Long-haul flights also consume more fuel per 100 kilometres than medium-haul flights because for the significant portion of the flight, the aircraft has to carry the fuel which is only used at the end of the flight.

    These factors directly impact fuel consumption per passenger:
  • Type of aircraft
  • Number of seats on board
  • Seat occupancy rate and
  • Transported cargo

The following table shows the difference between Boeing and Airbus, as measured by range, fuel capacity, passenger capacity, and the statistics generated:

A350-900 787 777-300ER A380 747-400
15,000 14,800 14,685 14,800 13,450 Range
150,000 138,000 181,300 310,000 217,000 Fuel Capacity (L)
330 290 365 555 416 Passengers
10 9.32 12.34 20.94 16.13 Fuel Consumption (L/km)
0.0303 0.0321 0.0338 0.0377 0.0387 L/km/Passenger

All these factors were combined for doing the CO2 calculation.

Cars CO2 emissions

You will find a very useful calculator for CO2 emissions by cars at Falcon Solution. Calculating the CO2 emissions of cars requires the use of a different algorithm because there are different kinds of fuel used by cars and each fuel has its own CO2 emission.