Virgin Atlantic has been focusing on reducing CO2 emissions like many other airlines. That’s one of the reasons why the company has heavily invested in its new A350-1000 aircraft. It has also been working on low carbon fuel solutions in a partnership with LanzaTech that’s going to enable Virgin to take a major step forward. The airline has confirmed that it will use sustainable jet fuel in a commercial flight next month.
Virgin says that it will “make history” by using LanzaTech’s new sustainable aviation fuel in a commercial flight for the first time. The fuel will be used in one of the airline’s 747 jets on a flight from Orlando to London Gatwick. It will be a “landmark leap” to make low carbon technology a reality, it says.
LanzaTech and Virgin have been working together to pioneer technology that captures and recycles carbon-rich industrial waste gases from steel mills into ethanol. These gases would otherwise be released into the atmosphere through chimneys. That ethanol is then used to produce multiple low carbon products such as jet fuel.
The LanzaTech jet fuel has an impressive sustainability profile as it uses waste carbon and is said to have the potential to achieve up to 70 percent lower carbon emissions compared to conventional jet fuel. LanzaTech estimates that its process can be retrofitted to 65 percent of the world’s steel mills to provide almost one fifth of all aviation fuel that’s used annually at a price that’s commercially viable.
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