Aviation continuous to be a fast growing mobility sector; from 2003 to 2013 there was an increase of passenger kilometers by 73 %. This development is fueled by kerosene which is the synonym for a range of aircraft fuels for military and civil applications. Against this background this article provides an overview on how kerosene from fossil fuel energy (i.e. crude oil) developed from a fuel for lamps and heaters to a modern, versatile and safe fuel for aviation. This includes an overview of the chemical structure and properties of kerosene and how it is produced. Additionally key specifications for aircraft use are provided. Kerosene can also be produced from alternative fossil sources, as from natural gas or coal. These alternative options are described in more detail. The paper closes with a sustainability outlook for fossil kerosene.
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