British Airways Submits Plans For Site That Would Turn Landfill Waste Into Aviation Fuel

The environmental impact of aviation has become more and more under the spotlight in recent years. To help sustain the environment, virtually all airlines take part in some form of recycling, albeit some better than others. They’ve also figured out all kinds of crazy ways to lighten their load so they use up less energy in flight. Frontier has even gone a step further and advertised how green it is.

It looks like British Airways is taking the lead though – they’ve just submitted plans to build a plant which will turn everyday trash into jet fuel that will eventually power its planes.

To be done in collaboration with oil giant Shell and renewable fuels company Velocys, the airline’s plans include building a site in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire.

The plant would take over 500,000 tons of non-recyclable trash per year and convert it into sustainable jet fuel. BA says that if successful, it will almost completely remove sulphur oxides that are sent into the air by their planes, and will cut the amount of soot that comes out of its aircrafts’ exhaust by almost 90%. The airline also believes this would reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% in comparison to fossil fuels,

“Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation which will help power our aircraft for years to come,” said British Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz.

If the $400,000 project is OKed, construction on the plant will begin in 2021 and BA hopes it will begin making aviation fuel by 2024.

According to Renewable Energy World, this idea was first developed in 2010 and was to be a partnership between BA and  The Solena group, an U.S. based advanced bioenergy and biofuels company. After submitting plans in 2014, the project was shelved in 2016, with BA blaming low crude oil prices, jitters among investors, and a lack of government support. Solena declared bankruptcy in late 2015, which may have had an impact on the project, as well.

Hopefully, things will have a more positive ending this time around.

I was really pleased to read about this. Kind of reminded me of how Walt Disney World turns its leftover food to energy! 🙂

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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