A Virgin Atlantic plane powered by jet fuel partly made from recycled industrial waste has landed at Gatwick. This is the first commercial flight of its kind to travel using the fuel.
The airline partnered with LanzaTech to create the more sustainable fuel, moving the aviation industry closer to environmental sustainability.
Recycled waste carbon gasses are used to make LanzaTech’s jet fuel. The original batch of fuel was produced in the US.
A Boeing 747 aircraft travelled from Orlando to London, powered by a new kind of fuel. Indeed, the fuel is a mixture of normal jet fuel and ethanol produced from waste gasses. Virgin Atlantic believe, as a result of the fuel, that aviation’s carbon footprint could be significantly lowered.
Though the fuel composition was only 5% recycled, it has the potential to equate to 50% of the fuel blend. This makes it highly sustainable compared to regular fuel used.
Moreover, Virgin Atlantic is encouraging the UK government to make this more sustainable fuel a reality in the UK. In fact, the airline has called on UK ministers to provide the financial backing for LanzaTech’s fuel. Consequently, LanzaTech would open three UK plants by 2025 which has the potential to produce 125m gallons of the fuel.
Founder of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, said:
“Working with LanzaTech will enable us to greatly reduce our carbon emissions and at the same time, help support UK industry.”
Indeed, he hopes to provide customers with long haul travel in “the most sustainable way possible”.
“This fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases from industrial factories and gives them a second life,”
As a result, he added that the fuel means “new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground”.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Virgin Atlantic had increased its flight times by 75% since 2009.
The new LanzaTech fuel has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of air travel across the globe. Could Virgin Atlantic have just set a new method to assist the UK in achieving its binding climate change targets?