Plane versus planet
‘A billion Indians would all fly someday, after my airline would become most affordable and popular’ said Jeh Wadia, CEO, GoAir airlines. Then why does the recently released movie- The Age of Stupid, portray him as a villain? It is afterall a dream of uplifting the middle class’ lifestyle and a more inclusive growth. Except this dream is also an environmental nightmare.
Aeroplane is the most fuel guzzling and carbon emitting transport known to mankind. High into the sky it goes and pollutes where it hurts most. Lets clear the cloud to unveil some facts !!
Planes use a fuel called the jet fuel or Airline Turbine Fuel (ATF), represented chemically as C13H28. It reacts with free oxygen in the air as: 2C13H28 + 40O2 =>26CO2 + 28H2O producing water vapour and Carbon dioxide.
The reaction releases lot of heat, increasing the temperature so much oxygen also reacts with free nitrogen in air to form nitrogen oxides like NO2, NO3 N20, called as NOx. All these products are green house gases.
Air travel is growing around 7 per cent each year, the fastest growing green house gas emitter.