Officials for Virgin Atlantic Airways announced their plans to develop an alternative jet fuel with half of the carbon emissions of standard fuels. Once complete, the biofuel will be utilized on Virgin Atlantic's routes from Shanghai and Delhi to London Heathrow Airport, a company spokesman said.
Virgin Atlantic is currently partnering with the New Zealand-based biotechnology firm LanzaTech to develop the biofuel, which captures, ferments and chemically converts industrial steel emissions utilizing Swedish Biofuels' alternative fuel technology. Not only will this technology reduce emissions on commercial flights, it will also prevent the waste gas from turning into carbon dioxide as it burns, the Virgin Atlantic spokesman said.
Although the technology is being engineered at a facility in New Zealand, it will be tested in Shanghai later this year. China will also play host to the commercial operation of the technology, expected by 2015, the spokesman said. "Following successful implementation, a wider roll-out could include operations in the U.K. and the rest of the world," he projected.
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