British Airways set to turn household rubbish into jet fuel

British Airways has partnered with renewable fuels company Velocys to turn household garbage into jet fuel for its fleet under a ground-breaking plan that would cut around 60,000 tons of carbon emissions every year.

The airline has struck a deal with renewable fuels company Velocys after the UK government decided to support renewable jet fuels. BA says its first waste-recycling plant will take "hundreds of tonnes of household waste" every year, saving it from landfill and converting it into clean-burning renewable fuel.

The waste will include diapers – or nappies, since we're talking British – plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers. The fuel produced is expected to deliver greenhouse gas savings of around 60 per cent compared to current fossil fuels, for an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of around 60,000 metric tonnes (66,139 tons).

The process works by heating the rubbish to create gas then using chemical reactions to turn the gas into jet fuels.

When up and running, the plant is expected to pump out enough fuel to power every single British Airways 787 Dreamliner flight from London to San Jose and London to New Orleans. According to the company, that will make it the first plant of its size.

The latest venture comes after an earlier waste-to-fuel initiative called GreenSky with Washington-based Solena Fuels, with a plant planned is Essex, fell through, which the company blamed party on lack of government support.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways' parent group IAG, said, ''Sustainable fuels will play an increasingly critical role in global aviation, and we are preparing for that future.''

Velocys said the UK could become a leader in rubbish-to-jet-fuel plants – though the project is still at the feasibility study stage.

Last week, the British Department for Transport published a set of changes to its Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, which mean sustainable jet fuel is now eligible for incentives.