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Virgin Atlantic to begin low-carbon jet fuel flight trials in 2017

Virgin Atlantic to begin low-carbon jet fuel flight trials in 2017





aTP-  Arab tourism portal News-  The first batch of low-carbon jet fuel derived from waste industrial gases from steel mills has been produced for use by UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic, with flight trials scheduled to start in 2017.


Virgin Atlantic has been working with fuel company LanzaTech since 2011 to develop an alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) fuel, branded as Lanzanol.


An initial 1,500 US gallons of the low-carbon jet fuel has been produced in China by LanzaTech and has passed its initial performance tests “with flying colors,” Virgin Atlantic said.


The fuel is created by capturing carbon from the carbon monoxide emitted by steel mills. This is then fermented to create ethanol and each gallon of ethanol is used to produce 0.5 gallon of aviation fuel.


“The process could be used to capture and recycle around a third of the carbon that steel facilities would otherwise release into the atmosphere,” Virgin Atlantic said. “Initial analyses suggest the new fuel will result in carbon savings of 65% compared to conventional jet fuel.”


Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech will now work with Boeing and the engine manufacturers, with the aim of performing the first Lanzanol proving flight in 2017.


“Following a successful proving flight the data collected will enable the partnership to seek approval to use the fuel on routine commercial flights. This would also help pave the way for LanzaTech to fund and build their first commercial jet fuel plant to supply fuel to Virgin Atlantic and other airlines. As a UK-based partnership, it is hoped the first LanzaTech jet-fuel plant would be based in the UK,” Virgin Atlantic said.


LanzaTech estimates its process could be retrofitted to 65% of the world’s steel mills, giving the potential for the production of 30 billion gallons of ethanol and 15 billion gallons of jet fuel each year—representing just under 19% of the industry’s total fuel requirement.


Virgin Atlantic flies to over 30 destinations and was the first commercial airline to perform a biofuel test flight



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