New Zealand firm wins radical bio-fuel deal with air industry
New Zealand bio-fuel pioneer, LanzaTech, has landed a multi-million dollar project with airline Virgin Atlantic and plane manufacturer Boeing. While the first ethanol plants are to be built in New Zealand, contracts have also been signed for factories in China and India.
Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airline made a high-profile announcement last week that it had signed up LanzaTech and Swedish Biofuels of Stockholm for a new fuel production process that recycles waste gases, such as those emitted by blast furnaces, coke ovens and BOF (basic oxygen furnace).
These waste emissions would otherwise be oxidized further to carbon dioxide and released into the atmosphere.
The LanzaTech technology captures and ferments carbon monoxide-containing waste gases into low-cost ethanol from industrial steel production and the Swedish Biofuels technology then chemically converts the resulting ethanol into a synthetic jet fuel.
The technology is currently being piloted in New Zealand, but a larger demonstration facility is expected to be opened in Shanghai later this year.
According to Virgin it will start using the bio-fuel made in China and India by 2013 for flights from Shanghai and Delhi to London. It believes that the new technology will exceed the airline's 30 percent carbon reduction per passenger kilometre plan by 2020.