British Airways has just agreed to purchase $500 million worth of biofuel from Solena Group, one of many steps taken toward the GreenSky London initiative created in 2010.
The airline partnered with biofuel manufacturer Solena Group to create the GreenSky partnership, which aims to source a portion of the companyâ€™s jet fuel from municipal waste. GreenSky London will work toward the construction of a biofuel facility that will redirect 500,000 tons of waste from landfills and turn it into 50,000 tons of low-carbon jet fuel, 50,000 tons of biodiesel, bionaphtha, and renewable power.
Solena Fuels Corporation will provide a gasification process that turns the waste into synthesis gas, and Oxford Catalysts Group/Velocys will supply reactors to convert the gas into liquid. British Airways will then purchase it at market competitive prices and use it to fuel some jets for the next 10 years. The goal is to be ready to get to work on all of this by 2015.
British Airways isnâ€™t the only airline pushing for cleaner fuel solutions. Virgin Atlantic Airways will soon be powering commercial flights with low-carbon aviation fuel made of recycled waste gas, and Alaska Airlines and United Airlines has already flown commercial flights with a biofuel mixture integrated into standard fuel. If this becomes more common, it may be a driving force in airline competition as ticket prices go up due to carbon restraints, and passengers seek out the most cost-effective travel opportunities.
Would you like to see your favorite airline using biofuel sooner rather than later?
Image CC licensed by Michael Coghlan: British Airways jet refuelling.