MIT engineers have designed a concept airplane that could eliminate 95 percent of toxic emissions. Aaron Foster / Getty Images Air travel is a major source of air pollution . A new concept hybrid-electric airplane could reduce dangerous emissions by 95 percent and potentially save thousands of lives every year. Generally, the environmental cost of flying is high . At cruising altitude, planes emit a steady stream of nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the troposphere, which eventually convert into ozone and fine particulates, an MIT press release noted. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration , an independent statistic and analysis organization, ozone in the troposphere is harmful to human health and adds to the climate crisis. WWF estimated that if the entire aviation sector were a country, it would be one of the world’s top 10 carbon-polluting nations. The compounded effect of ozone at such a low altitude and NOx, which acts as a precursor greenhouse gas, means that aviation is responsible for around five percent of global CO2 emissions annually, at a minimum. A separate 2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study found that aviation emissions’ impact on air quality is two to four times worse than its […]

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