Virgin Atlantic which has always been a pioneer in the alternative fuels usage and development efforts has announced that it is working to develop a new aviation fuel that will have half the carbon footprint of the fuels currently in use.
The fuel which is being developed in partnership with LanzaTech represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology that will see waste gases from industrial steel production being captured, fermented and chemically converted using Swedish Biofuels technology for use as a jet fuel. The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
The airline has plans to start using the fuel on its flights from Delhi and Shanghai to London. There are tests that are currently being undertaken in New Zealand, with plans to setup a larger demonstration facility in Shanghai later this year, the first commercial operation is intended to begin in China by 2014.
The airline has already been testing out the bio-fuel alternatives for its flights and with the new Carbon taxes to be imposed by the European Union soon, this move could really help the airline build up a cleaner and greener future with reduced environmental and operational costs.
What remains to be seen now is the success of this initiative and how well it is received by other industry players for their own use.