Virgin Atlantic Airways, the British airline owned by Sir Richard Branson, has announced that it will be running on waste gas fuel by the year 2014. Sir Richard Branson is the mega mogul who also owns Virgin Records, the British record label that has released records with popular recording artists such as David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison and The Smashing Pumpkins.
Virgin Atlantic will be the first airline to use a new fuel that is being created by LanzaTech, a company that creates low carbon transport fuels, and Swedish Biofuels, a company that environmentally friendly fuels.
The fuel is made from recycled industrial gases, which are captured from industrial steel production and then chemically converted into jet fuel. LanzaTech estimates that the process can be used at 65% of the world’s steel mills, as well as other metal processing facilities, dramatically reducing the carbon dioxide emissions releases by the buildings.
In an article featured on SustainableBusiness.com LanzaTech CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren said, “This technology will enable airlines to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint by reusing gases that would otherwise have been emitted directly into the atmosphere. It promotes sustainable industrial growth, as the process enables manufacturing plants to
recycle their waste carbon emissions.”
Using this waste fuel is part of Virgin Atlantic’s overall green goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by the year 2020. The company got a good start on this goal in 2008 when it flew a Boeing 747 jumbo jet from London to Amsterdam on biofuel made from babssu oil and coconut oil.