As it turns out, though, those [airplane] contrails “create long-lasting, and sometimes extensive, clouds that would not normally form in the atmosphere, and are believed to be a factor in influencing Earth’s environment,” according to NASA. And a major driver of those contrails is soot emissions, which often come from fossil fuels.
” … The observed particle reductions we’ve measured during [this study] should directly translate into reduced ice crystal concentrations in contrails, which in turn should help minimize their impact on Earth’s environment,” said Bruce Anderson, ACCESS project scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Planes that participated in the study used a 50-50 blend of traditional aviation fuel and a renewable alternative biofuel. “This was the first time we have quantified the amount of soot particles emitted by jet engines while burning a 50-50 blend of biofuel in flight,” said Rich Moore, lead author of the Nature report.