Posted in: news

19th January 2015

Virgin Atlantic: Fuel for change

Virgin Atlantic is dedicated to finding a sustainable low carbon alternative to kerosene via its innovative partnership with LanzaTech. In 2008, Virgin Atlantic became the first airline in the world to operate a commercial aircraft on a biofuel blend.

This partnership with LanzaTech is helping to develop the next generation of sustainable, commercial jet fuel. LanzaTech technology uses microbes to convert waste carbon monoxide gases from steel mills into ethanol (instead of flaring it off into the atmosphere as CO2). The alcohol is then converted into jet fuel. The process is based on a plentiful, affordable waste stream, with little or no food or land use issues.Initial analysis shows the fuel will have 60% lower life cycle CO2 emissions than conventional kerosene.

Virgin Atlantic is preparing for a demonstration flight using this new sustainable fuel in 2015. This is a vital step towards achieving certification and commercialization of this sustainable fuel solution.Virgin Atlantic along with other Virgin Airlines is also supporting the Carbon War Room’s Renewable Jet Fuels Operation. The project aims to catalyze the development of a sustainable renewable fuel market that will diversify fuel supply, reduce price volatility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

You see how the LanzaTech process works here and find out more about Virgin Atlantic's Change is in the Air sustainability program here.