What are planes going to run on when we burn through our petroleum reserves?

What are planes going to run on when we burn through our petroleum reserves?

I don’t think there are fuel cell or electric airplanes, right? could we synthesize fuel? or do we use liquid hydrogen and an oxidizer, rockets?

5 Responses to “What are planes going to run on when we burn through our petroleum reserves?”

  1. dsw_s Says:

    We don’t know, because there are a number of possibilities.

    A previous reply was correct that a little oil will be available for a long time.

    Hydrogen can work, but it’s bulky. Fuel equivalent to petroleum can be made by pyrolysis of various kinds of biomass, but it’s likely to be expensive. Methane ("natural gas"), methanol ("wood alcohol", and ethanol (regular alcohol) can be made by fermenting various kinds of biomass. They’re likely to be somewhat expensive too. We may come up with a way of storing electricity that’s light enough to use in aircraft, in quantum flywheels or super capacitors or something. But that’s in the realm of science fiction for now.

    Finally, we may mostly quit flying. Mag-lev trains can go fast enough that flying would take longer when you include the time spent taking off your soes at security.

  2. (Ω)Mistress Bekki Says:

    Mr. Fusion?

  3. s0mewhereny Says:

    I don’t know but if I were an aeronautics engineer I would be trying like heck to find out or solve that problem.

  4. billrussell42 Says:

    We will never totally run out of petroleum, it will just get more difficult to extract, and thus more and more expensive. At some point, autos will switch to alternatives, leaving more fuel for the aircraft.

    And, there is always alcohol from corn.

    And you can convert coal to a kerosene like fluid, and there are huge amounts of coal.

    .

  5. The Wicker Man Says:

    once we run out of petrol, we are pretty much screwed.
    we will need to look for other fuel sources, and so far none are able to power a plane.
    personally, i would use all the oil we have in building a network of space elevators.