British Airways moves closer to sustainable fuel

By Cameron Saunders
Through a partnership with two other companies, and support from the government, the airline is looking to implement sustainable fuel as soon as 2025

We hear a lot about the deleterious effects that commercial flying has on the environment which is why the prospect of sustainable aviation fuel is such an exciting one. 

To move this dream forward, British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies have kicked their partnership into high gear. 

Together, these companies are overseeing Project Speedbird, first developed in 2021, which seeks to transform wood and agricultural waste derived from sustainable sources and, at its facility, would turn it into 102 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel every year. 

Significant cut in emissions

If everything goes according to plan, fuel produced at the facility would reduce CO2 emissions by 230,000 tonnes a year (the equivalent of 26,000 domestic British Airways flights). 

The project has also been helped by a British Government Department for Transport’s (DfT) Advanced Fuels Fund grant after it was granted £500,000 to keep the project moving forward. The move to support the project is in keeping with the DfT’s Jet Zero strategy which hopes to see sustainable aviation fuel come into common use by 2025.

British Airways Director of Sustainability Carrie Harris made the following comments on the measure: “Project Speedbird is another great step towards our mission to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and achieve our target of using SAF for 10% of our fuel by 2030. SAF is in high demand but in short supply across the globe and so it is essential that we scale up its production as quickly as possible.”

In order to see this project through, British Airways is working with two other companies. Nova Pangea Technologies, is an industry leader in converting bio waste into bioethanol and biochar. Once this process is completed, LanzaJet then converts the bioethanol to sustainable aviation fuel. 

Nova Pangea Technologies CEO Sarah Ellerby noted the help received from such an important partner as British Airways, saying, “The support from British Airways is a vote of huge confidence in our technology and will accelerate its commercialisation.”


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