Waste gives BA wings

{ Posted on Aug 14 2013 by B-man }
Categories : Travel news

British Airways in partnership with the Solena Group is to establish Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant and plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet from 2014. The new fuel will be derived from waste biomass and manufactured in a facility that will convert a variety of waste materials destined for landfill into aviation fuel.

The self-contained plant, likely to be sited in east London in the UK, will convert some 500 000 tonnes of waste per year into 16-million gallons of green jet fuel through a process that offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95% compared to fossil-fuel derived jet kerosene.

This volume of fuel would be more than twice the amount required to make all of British Airways’ flights at London City Airport carbon-neutral. The fuel’s reduction in carbon emissions would be equivalent to taking 48 000 cars off the road per year.

The project will make further savings in greenhouse emissions by reducing the volume of waste sent to landfill, which avoids the production of the global warming agent methane, as well as generating 20MW of electricity a year from renewable sources.

British Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase all the fuel produced by the plant, which will be built by the Solena Group, an advanced bio energy and bio fuels company based in the US.

British Airways CEO Willie Walsh says: “This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. We believe it will lead to the production of a real sustainable alternative to jet kerosene. We are absolutely determined to reduce our impact on climate change and are proud to lead the way on aviation’s environmental initiatives.”

Solena Group chairman and CEO Dr Robert Do explains: “The Solena/British Airways BioJetFuel project will efficiently convert biomass into clean, renewable fuels and electricity and is completely carbon-neutral. The plant will be a state-of-the-art renewable fuel manufacturing facility, distinct from a standard waste to energy incinerator facility. It will not produce any polluting emissions or undesirable by-products.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson came out in support of the venture: “I welcome this fantastic new ‘carbon lite’ fuel production facility in London. City Hall has been working with British Airways and Solena to drive this project forward to help untap the massive potential to generate cleaner, less polluting energy from waste, otherwise destined for landfill. We are working to bring together more organisations in this way to harvest the capital’s rubbish to fuel homes, businesses and even transport.”

Johnson launched the “Foodwaste to Fuel Alliance” last year to speed up the development of infrastructure to convert London’s food waste – nearly three million tonnes per year – into eco-fuel to cut landfill rates and carbon emissions from incinerators.

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