The approach is inexpensive, straightforward and uses common materials. It is less expensive than the processes used to transform hydrogen and water into fuel.
There are many challenges to aviation. The lab method only produced a few grams of fuel – you would clearly need a lot more to support even a single flight, let alone an entire fleet. You would need much more widespread use of carbon capture. And if you really want zero emissions, the capture and conversion systems should run on clean energy.
The researchers, however, speak with industrial partners and do not see any major scientific obstacles. It could also be one of the more viable options for fleets. Many of them would have to replace their planes to switch to electricity or change the type of fuel. This conversion process would allow airlines to keep their existing aircraft and become carbon neutral until they are really ready for green propulsion.