The introduction of carbon neutral propulsion systems and sustainable air fuels in aviation

  • Sebastian Paul Britzke (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Climate change is forcing the aviation industry to transform towards greater sustainability andlower emissions. The aviation industry accounts for about 2.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Grewe et al, 2019). Today’s jet engines are based on fossil fuel and are responsible for the largest share of CO2 emissions in the industry. Therefore, key stakeholders are working on the introduction of carbon neutral propulsion systems (CNPS) and sustainable air fuel (SAF).The dissertation examines the introduction of CNPS regarding emerging competitive advantages for airlines, manufacturers, and fuel suppliers. The focus is set on battery- and liquid-hydrogen-based propulsion systems as well as SAFs. Semi-structured interviews with industry experts from different disciplines were conducted to answer the research questions. Nearly all interviewees agreed that sustainability is the most important strategic topic among their executives thereby underlining the importance of CNPS. All experts are confident about alarge-scale implementation of SAFs in commercial aviation. They were less confident about hydrogen- and not confident about battery-based propulsion. Mandatory SAF quotas and a limited supply of SAF will likely lead to a SAF price increase. Airlines hedging against that risk now can gain a competitive price advantage. Fuel suppliers coming up with SAF mass production technology can gain a first mover advantage. Manufacturers should focus on hydrogen instead of battery technology; for the short-haulaircraft market, an increased demand can be assumed.
Date of Award24 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPeter Rajsingh (Supervisor)


  • Aviation
  • Airline
  • Aircraft manufacturer
  • Jet fuel
  • Sustainability
  • Carbon neutral
  • Hydrogen
  • Battery
  • Sustainable air fuel
  • Competitive advantage
  • Strategy


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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