October 4 (Renewables Now) - UK carrier Virgin Atlantic has completed the first ever commercial flight using LanzaTech's aviation fuel, which is made by recycling waste carbon gases, the parties announced today.
The fuel, offering a 70% reduction in carbon emissions compared to fossil jet, was used on a flight from Orlando to London Gatwick, operated by a Boeing 747. The plane was marshalled into Gatwick by the airline's founder Richard Branson.
According to him, the flight is a huge step in making the new fuel technology a mainstream reality.
LanzaTech's process captures carbon-rich waste industrial gases from steel and aluminium mills and first produces ethanol, which can then be used for a number of low-carbon products, including jet fuel.
According to the companies, there is a potential to produce up to 125 million gallons (473.2 million litres) of jet fuel per year in the UK, which would be sufficient to fuel all Virgin Atlantic flights departing Britain.
"We’re at a tantalising tipping point for making this ground-breaking new tech a commercial reality - as long as we can get support from the UK government," Branson said in a blog post. "We want to secure the world’s first carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) commercial jet fuel production facility in the UK," he added.