Virgin Atlantic founder and entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, has said half the fuel used by airlines by the end of the decade could be sustainably sourced biofuels. Branson made the claim at the launch yesterday of RenewableJetFuels.org, a website rating around 40 companies producing green aviation fuels based on their economic viability, scalability and sustainability.
Topping the new rankings were New Zealand firm Lanzatech, which is pioneering a method of producing biofuels from steel production waste gases with Virgin, and California's SG Biofuels.
Solazyme and Neste, both of which have deals in place with leading airlines, also appear in the top 10.
Currently, around a third of the companies on the list are judged to be "credible" producers of commercial volumes of biofuels.
According to Branson, the economic case for switching to jet biofuels is becoming more compelling by the day as a result of rising fuel costs that will see airlines spend $200bn on fuel in 2011, a substantive jump from the $140bn spent in 2010.
He also said that the fact airplanes only have "about 1,700" filling stations, as opposed to the millions worldwide that serve land transport, also means aviation biofuels could be rolled out relatively quickly.