Climate Action

Virgin Atlantic flight, partially fuelled by recycled waste, lands in the UK

A Virgin Atlantic flight, partially fuelled by recycled waste, has landed in the UK.

  • 04 October 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

A Virgin Atlantic, flight partially fuelled by recycled waste, has landed in the UK.

The plane, travelling from Orlando to London, was powered by a new blend of normal jet fuel and ethanol produced from waste gases. This new blend is designed to significantly reduce the airline’s carbon footprint.

Virgin Atlantic have partnered with Lanza Tech to ensure the airlines carbon emissions are reduced. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic, welcomed the Boeing 747 into London.

The technology uses recycled waste emissions captured from a steel mill, these emissions are then converted into ethanol. The ethanol is then converted into jet fuel.

Mr Branson, said: “Working with LanzaTech will enable us to greatly reduce our carbon emissions and, at the same time, help support UK industry. This fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases from industrial factories and gives them a second life so that new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground.”

The fuel has the potential to produce up to 125 million gallons per year in the UK which would be enough to fuel 100 per cent of Virgin Atlantic’s flights departing from Britain.

As a result, nearly one million tonnes of CO2 would be saved each year which is the equivalent of 2,100 roundtrip flights between London Heathrow and JFK airports.

Liz Sugg, the Aviation Minister, said: “We are committed to cutting carbon emissions and promoting new environmentally-friendly fuels, especially for aeroplanes, which will rely on traditional fuels for years to come.”

This news follows Alaska Airlines partnership with Neste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry.