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Virgin Atlantic plans first flight with LanzaTech’s recycled carbon jet fuel

In a recent blog, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson revealed that Virgin Atlantic’s low-carbon fuel partnership with US LanzaTech has taken a "vital step" forward. Furthermore, that history will be made in October when Virgin Atlantic will carry out the first-ever commercial flight using LanzaTech’s innovative new sustainable aviation fuel.

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Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has revealed that Virgin Atlantic is planning to conduct its first commercial flight with LanzaTech’s recycled carbon jet fuel in October (photo courtesy Virgin Atlantic).

According to the blog, LanzaTech’s recycled carbon aviation fuel will be used in a 747 on a flight from Orlando (MCO), Florida to London Gatwick (LGW) to demonstrate “the art of the possible” and be a first step towards making the ground-breaking new low carbon technology a “mainstream reality”. Branson notes that the appetite for long-haul travel is only getting bigger, and airlines have a “responsibility to deliver that in the most sustainable way possible”.

Virgin Atlantic has been working with waste-gas-to-fuel and chemicals technology developer LanzaTech Inc. since 2011 to pioneer technology that captures and recycles carbon-rich industrial waste gases from steel mills into ethanol. The ethanol, in turn, can be used for a variety of low carbon fuels and chemical products.

According to Branson, the future potential of the technology is enormous citing LanzaTech’s own estimates that its waste gas to fuel process could be retrofitted to 65 percent of the world’s steel mills, to produce nearly one-fifth of all aviation fuel used annually, at a commercially viable price.

This exciting first flight is all about showing we’re ready for business. We are working with LanzaTech to turn this new fuel into a day-to-day reality, and want to secure the world’s first carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) commercial jet fuel production facility in the UK, stated Sir Richard Branson in his blog.

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