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Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Virgin unveils fuel breakthrough

Virgin Atlantic is to develop a low carbon aviation fuel with half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative.

Claiming it as a world-first, the airline is developing the fuel with LanzaTech and said it -¬---represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology-¬~.

The fuel will use waste gases from industrial steel production which will be captured, fermented and chemically converted using Swedish Biofuels technology for use as a jet fuel.

-¬---The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide,-¬~ said Virgin.

The airline plans to use the fuel on flights from Shanghai and Delhi to London Heathrow within two to three years.

A -¬Ë-demo-¬™ flight with the new fuel is planned in 12-18 months.

LanzaTech estimates that its process can apply to 65% of the world-ªs steel mills, which means the fuel can be rolled out for worldwide commercial use.

It also believes this process can apply to metals processing and chemical industries, growing its potential considerably further.

Virgin president Sir Richard Branson, said: -¬---We were the first commercial airline to test a bio-fuel flight and we continue to lead the airline industry as the pioneer of sustainable aviation.

-¬---This partnership to produce a next generation, low-carbon aviation fuel is a major step towards radically reducing our carbon footprint, and we are excited about the savings that this technology could help us achieve.

"With oil running out, it is important that new fuel solutions are sustainable, and with the steel industry alone able to deliver over 15 billion gallons of jet fuel annually, the potential is very exciting.

-¬---This new technology is scalable, sustainable and can be commercially produced at a cost comparable to conventional jet fuel.-¬~

by Bev Fearis

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  • Tui Trumped?

    Great news if Branson can realistically utilise waste gases to power his fleet. There was a quiet mention of biofuels in the article; what I'm sure we would all like to know is what proportion of Biofuels is required to fly a jet on a typical journey and what does that equate to in terms of acreage of land to produce the vegetable oil?

    By JOHN DROGAN, Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Sharing is Caring

    Hopefully Virgin plans to share with other carriers for the greater good of the planet.

    By Raymond Walsh, Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Biofuels

    In answer to [JOHN DROGAN 11th October 2011 @ 05:42:40 GMT] two points: (1) Biofuels needn't be vegetable oil (2) Biofuels needn't even be new vegetable oil - there is a great movement worldwide making use of used cooking oil as fuel.

    By Will Rankin, Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Aircraft should be the last fossil fuel users

    This makes no engineering sense. Aircraft are already 10x-1000x more efficient in their use of fossil fuels than the other major areas of energy demand (building heat, electricity, ground transport) and they represent the most difficult place to substitute an alternative (heavy penalties for additional weight, volume, volatility or other material handling risks). Feed the reprocessed metals process gasses into Chinese powerplants tomorrow and you eliminate a bunch of dirty coal combustion - dont waste more time, money and effort trying to get the stuff to work in a high-performance turbofan just to try and "greenify" air transport marketing

    By Brad Corrodi, Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Great innovative product!

    Wow, that's amazing and really interesting. Glad someone is finally looking outside the square re fuel shortages and new products. Good luck.

    By Donna Hamilton, Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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