British Airways advances the creation of environmentally friendly aviation fuel

British Airways
Representative | GreenAir News

British Airways has agreed to quicken the large-scale, environmentally friendly aircraft fuel manufacturing venture known as Project Speedbird that it started in 2021 with LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies. The parent company of the airline, IAG, will contribute to the next round of development work as part of the agreement. Construction could start as early as next year, and production could begin as early as 2026.

Project Speedbird

The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ competition awarded Project Speedbird about £500,000 ($570,000) to support an initial feasibility assessment for the project’s early stages of development. According to British Airways, the project is now finished, and the partners have sought for an extra funding from the DfT’s Advanced Fuels Fund to move forward with the next stage of development.

British Airways

Located in the north-east of England, the plant would produce 102 million liters of SAF annually from agricultural and wood waste, which BA would purchase to power its planes. For its corporate and individual customers, the airline has also introduced improved web tools to calculate flight carbon emissions and lessen their influence on the environment. Customers could previously buy carbon offsets and sustainable aviation fuel using the airline’s carbon offsetting tool, but thanks to a partnership with climate tech firm CHOOOSE, the new CO2llaborate program will give them more control over the ratio of SAF to verified carbon offsets they wish to buy.

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. With further investment and continued government support, Speedbird will be a key and pioneering project in the production of SAF here in the UK

commented the airline’s Director of Sustainability, Carrie Harris

Carrie Harris | British Airways

Utilizing a combination of cutting-edge technology, the SAF will be created using Nova Pangaea’s REFNOVA® method for producing bioethanol and biochar from agricultural and wood waste. The bioethanol is then transformed using LanzaJet’s unique and patented alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology, the first of its type in the world, to create SAF and renewable diesel.

The partners assert that the SAF produced will reduce net lifecycle emissions by 230,000 tonnes annually, or the equivalent emissions of about 26,000 domestic flights of British Airways. The facility would be able to produce more biochar and 11 million liters of renewable diesel, which together could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 770,000 tonnes annually.

Representative | Korea Bizwire

This project will deliver the first end-to-end, sustainable value chain from agricultural and wood waste to SAF in the UK. It will undoubtedly play a very important role in the growing momentum towards decarbonising our aviation sector. The support from British Airways is a vote of huge confidence in our technology and will accelerate its commercialisation

Sarah Ellerby, CEO at Nova Pangaea Technologies, said

With the creation of hundreds of jobs and supply chain possibilities in the North East of England as a result of Project Speedbird, the UK as a whole would gain from investments made in green technologies.


COVER: GreenAir News