Fuel made from olive pits for planes from Seville

by Lorraine Williamson
fuel made from olive pits

SEVILLA – Fuel made from olive pits and other vegetable waste from the olive sector in Spain will soon be used to power 220 planes from Seville. 

The 220 aircraft will travel a total of 400,000 kilometres using this fuel. Moreover, that’s the equivalent of 10 times around the world. This is a pilot project of the Spanish oil company Cepsa. It has formalised an agreement with Seville airport so that 220 flights will use a large amount of ‘biofuel’ (SAF). 

This fuel is made from olive pits and other vegetable waste from the olive industry in Spain. Furthermore, it will be used by the following airlines on all their flights departing from the airport in Seville;

  • Air Europa
  • Air Nostrum
  • Iberia Express
  • Ryanair
  • Vueling
  • Wizz Air

This amount of SAF is sufficient for an average aircraft to travel 400,000 kilometres. That’s the equivalent of 10 times around the world and enough to cover between 400 and 500 flight hours. The aircraft participating in this project will therefore carry 4.5% sustainable fuel in their tanks. That is more than the 2% target set by the European Union for 2025. 

Seville is the southern European capital of low-carbon air transport 

This is the first time a SAF delivery of these characteristics has been made in Spain. That is why Cepsa qualifies Seville as “the southern European capital of decarbonising air transport”. According to the energy company, this initiative prevents the emission of more than 200 tons of CO₂, the equivalent of planting more than 2,500 trees. 

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Related post: Flying from Spain to the US can be a lot greener with biofuel! 

“From the aviation sector, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We are committed to using the SAF as it is effective in reducing CO₂ emissions. Moreover, it is an available solution that can be achieved without any modification to 50% can be blended with conventional fuel, but to implement it successfully, it is necessary to scale up production so that the fuel is accessible and affordable,” affirmed Javier Gándara, President of the Airlines Association, who attended the presentation of the initiative. 

‘Green transition’ essential for the aviation sector 

The ‘green transition’ is essential for the aviation sector, both to reduce its carbon footprint and to cope with the exponential increase in the cost of kerosene, the fossil fuel used by aircraft. In addition, the recently presented EU package of measures, ‘Objective 55’, contains several climate measures that affect the tourism and transport sector. A new tax on kerosene could force airlines to change their policies. 


SAF can be produced in a variety of ways, again and again using raw materials such as used cooking oil, non-food animal waste or biodegradable waste from various types of industries. To convert these elements into energy, the combustion of organic material takes place by using renewable energy. 

Synthetic fuel 

There is also the option of making ‘synthetic fuel’, a result of the separation of hydrogen and oxygen in water, which is later used to combine the isolated hydrogen with CO₂ captured from the atmosphere. 

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