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Virgin Atlantic completes first commercial flight with LanzaTech alcohol-to-jet fuel

Posted on 03/10/2018

Fuel used on Boeing 747 aircraft on Wednesday 3 October between Orlando and London Gatwick.

Virgin Atlantic has been working with LanzaTech since 2011 to pioneer technology that captures and recycles carbon-rich industrial waste gases from steel mills into ethanol – gases that would otherwise go up the chimney into the atmosphere. The ethanol, in turn, can be used for a variety of low carbon products, including jet fuel.

“Because it uses waste carbon, the LanzaTech jet fuel has a fantastic sustainability profile” says Richard Branson in his blog. “It has the potential to achieve over 70% lower carbon emissions compared to regular fossil jet, and no land or food competition issues. And because it uses a plentiful, affordable waste stream, this is set to keep the fuel price competitive with that of traditional jet.”

Earlier this year, the standards setting body ASTM International added ethanol as an approved feedstock for the production of jet fuels, having passed all the required aircraft and engine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) tests. LanzaTech is planning to build the first large scale alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) facility in the UK and have raised $250m so far. They have secured £410,000 from the Department for Transport under their Future Fuels for Flight and Freight competition to conduct a feasibility study to submit into their Phase 2 stage in order to develop the first facility in the UK.

KTN is pleased to partner with LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic to shape their UK proposition.

If you want to know more about the aviation fuel certification process and where to get support in the UK, contact the team and try the new Sustainable Aviation Fuel UK Landscape tool.

Watch: LanzaTech’s Carl Wolf speaking in July at the Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Clean Growth event