In many industries, air travel is an unfortunate necessity, and we all know that there are just some vacation destinations that can’t be accessed any other way. People are constantly looking for simple ways to green their air travel, but thanks to one popular airline, the skies are about to more eco-friendly– fast.
A full service airline based in London, British Airways has unveiled plans to establish what it believes will be Europe’s first ‘sustainable’ jet fuel plant (The Engineer).
Although packing light and avoiding the lavatory can go a long way to reducing the impact of flying on personal carbon footprint’s, the airline’s plans will set a new standard for sustainablility in the travel industry.
According to The Engineer, “the plant will produce aviation fuel from plasma gasification of biomass into BioSynGas which is then converted by Fischer Tropsch into biojet fuel. The facility will process all types of biomass and residue feedstock which will mainly be sourced from local waste management facilities. The process produces no waste products other than an environmentally-benign slag that can be used as construction aggregate.”
The plant is slated to be fully operational by 2014, and if successful, it will offer a way to convert 500 kilotonnes (1,102,311,310 pounds) of carbon-based material per year into 16 million gallons of jet fuel, and could potentially reduce annual carbon emissions by 145 kilotonnes (319,670,280 pounds).
The announcement of British Airlines’ plan to manufacture it’s own sustainable jet fuel comes fast on the heels of news that the U.S. Department of Defense has achieved a breakthrough that could put algae-based biofuels in use by American military aircraft much sooner than the 2016 goal.
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - daspaddy