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Virgin Atlantic to make 1st flight on fuel from waste carbon gases

Image from Virgin Atlantic

September 18 (Renewables Now) - Next month, UK carrier Virgin Atlantic will use LanzaTech's new sustainable aviation fuel in a commercial flight for the first time, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson announced last week.

Virgin Atlantic has partnered since 2011 with LanzaTech on the development of technology that captures and recycles carbon-rich industrial waste gases from steel mills into ethanol, which can then be used for various low-carbon products, including jet fuel.

The new aviation fuel will be used on a flight from Orlando to London Gatwick.

The LanzaTech jet fuel could reduce carbon emissions by more than 70% compared to regular fossil jet and as it uses affordable waste stream, the price is set to be competitive, Branson says. According to him, the technology has enormous potential. LanzaTech believes its process could be retrofitted to 65% of the steel mills globally, to produce almost 20% of the aviation fuel used each year.

Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech want to build the world's first carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) commercial jet fuel plant in the UK.

"We’ve had some great support from the UK government so far. But we now need to turn this into firm government action on incentives and investor commitment, to help us accelerate towards building the world’s first full size plant producing jet fuel from waste carbon gases," Branson said.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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