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British Airways is hoping to run future flights on rubbish as it plans to build the world’s first facility that converts landfill waste into airline fuel.
A former oil refinery in Thurrock, Essex, will house the Green Sky project which is being built to open in 2017, creating up to 150 permanent jobs.
Around 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will be converted into 120,000 tonnes of clean burning liquid fuels using integrated technology from Solena Fuels.
BA has then agreed to buy 50,000 tonnes per annum of the jet fuel at market competitive rates.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said the recycled fuel will allow the carrier to significantly reduce its carbon emissions.
“The sustainable jet fuel produced each year will be enough to power our flights from London City Airport twice over, with carbon savings the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.”
The process will apply high temperature plasma gasification technology to turn the waste into synthetic gas and then into liquid hydrocarbons.
Airlines from all over the world are set to meet at the 2014 Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva in two weeks’ time. It is hoped that this project will revolutionise the production of sustainable aviation fuel.