Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson had a very good reason to greet one of its airplanes on the tarmac.
Flight VS16 touched down in London fresh from a transatlantic journey from Orlando Florida, marking the FIRST commercial flight that was partially fueled by recycled waste.
The recycled fuel was created by California’s LanzaTech. By capturing and converting carbon emission from steel mills, oil refineries, and other manufacturing sites, scientists used a proprietary process powered by microbes to create fuel.
“This fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases from industrial factories and gives them a second life so that new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground,” explained Branson in a press release.
According to reports, the fuel created by LanzaTech composed five percent fo the jet fuel that helped Virgin Atlantics flight VS16 cross the Atlantic from Orlando to London.
And while the numbers may seem small at the moment, experts say that in the near future the fuel could comprise around fifty percent of the fuel.
The fuel isn’t experimental.
In fact, in April of 2018, the organization that sets aviation industry fuel standards approved LanzaTech’s sustainable jet fuel for use as a 50/50 blend with traditional fossil fuels.
According to LanzaTech, the company could meet around 20 percent of the commercial aviation industry’s fuel demand by using only the carbon it could capture from our planet’s eligible steel mills.
This revolutionary process could help take care of our planet along the way.
Scientist estimate that air travel accounts for 2-3 percent of global CO2 emissions, meaning that this fuel could help reduce the amount of carbon we pump into the atmosphere each day.