British Airways teams up with Velocys to design waste-to-jet-fuel plant in UK


British Airways has collaborated with renewable fuels company Velocys to design a series of plants that can convert household waste into renewable jet fuel.

With the partnership, the airline expects to use renewable fuel to power its fleet of aircraft and to meet its plans to develop long-term, sustainable fuel options.

As part of the collaboration, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household waste such as nappies, plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers will be received by the first plant to be used as feedstock to produce clean and sustainable jet fuels.

The initiative is expected to help British Airways achieve its goal of reducing its net emissions by 50% by 2050.

“Turning household waste into jet fuel is an amazing innovation that produces clean fuel while reducing landfill."

It also expects to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills in the UK, which currently sends more than 15Mt of waste to landfills per annum.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “Sustainable fuels will play an increasingly critical role in global aviation, and we are preparing for that future.

“Turning household waste into jet fuel is an amazing innovation that produces clean fuel while reducing landfill.

“From developing innovative operating techniques to investing in the most modern and efficient aircraft, we have a strong track record in researching, identifying and implementing ways to reduce emissions.”

When completed, the first plant is expected to produce enough fuel to power British Airways’ 787 Dreamliner operated flights for an entire year.

Compared with traditional fossil fuel, the renewable fuel is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gases by 60% and achieving 60,000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) savings a year.


Image: A British Airways flight. Photo: courtesy of British Airways.