Clean fuel tests take off with Virgin Atlantic

The airline is to begin trialling sustainable jet fuel made from the waste carbon produced in steel mills

By Jonny Bairstow

Virgin Atlantic is to begin trialling jet fuel made from the waste carbon produced in steel mills.

The airline will use biotech company LanzaTech’s sustainable aviation fuel to power one of its 747 jets in a 7,000-kilometre commercial flight from Orlando, Florida to London Gatwick, UK.

The firm uses gas fermentation technology to turn waste carbon produced at steel mills into a range of valuable products in efforts to accelerate the move towards a low carbon economy.

Virgin Atlantic hopes to drive industry-wide change towards more investment in developing cleaner aviation fuels and more efficient operating models for airlines and airports..

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This waste to jet fuel project has the potential to help transform the aviation industry by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the air quality around our country’s airports.

“Supporting important developments like this is just part of our work to help ensure our aviation sector is greener than ever and we will explore further measures as part of our Aviation Strategy.”