Yet another “first” household & commercial waste to aviation fuel plant planning application – Velocys, Shell, BA
Altalto, a collaboration between Velocys, British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application for a plant that turns waste into so-called “sustainable” aviation fuel. The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration. That would be converted into fuel, to be used by the aviation industry (some could be used for road vehicle fuels…). The scheme is claiming it would “reduce reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent.” The company says the fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides – but gives no explanation how. It also claims the process produces less air pollution that if the waste was incinerated or landfilled (but gives on details). Usual blurb from British Airways (desperate to try to make out that aviation will emit less CO2 in future, while continuing to grow) about “Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation…” blah blah… BA had proposed a similar plant in Essex which was cancelled due to lack of funding in 2016.
Altalto, a collaboration between Velocys, British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application for a plant that turns waste into sustainable aviation fuel.
The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration and turn it into clean-burning sustainable aviation fuel, which is claimed would reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent.
The company says the fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides; and the technology offers a lower emissions route to process UK waste than incineration or landfill.
The site is called Portlink 180 which consists of approximately 80 acres of land located on Hobson Way, between Immingham and Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire.
Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: ‘The submission of the planning application marks a major milestone in this project and we are delighted with the progress being made.
‘Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation which will help power our aircraft for years to come.
‘This development is an important step in the reduction of our carbon emissions and meeting the industry targets of carbon neutral growth from 2020, and a 50% in CO2 reduction by 2050 from 2005 levels. It also brings the UK another step closer to becoming a global leader in sustainable aviation fuels.’
British Airways had proposed a similar plant to be built in Essex which was cancelled due to lack of funding in 2016.
Last week, Heathrow Airport called on UN’s aviation body ICAO to set targets for the use of sustainable fuels in aviation and for the government to invest some of the £4bn annual revenue raised from Air Passenger Duty to scale-up its production.
In other related news, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced in May that they will buy 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year for the next 10 years.
They will buy the fuel from SkyNRG who will develop Europe’s first dedicated plant for the production of sustainable airline fuel (SAF) in Delfzijl in The Netherlands.
They say it will be capable of producing the fuels bioLPG and naphtha primarily using regional waste and residue streams as feedstock.
From the Velocys website:
Plans submitted for the first waste to jet fuel plant in the UK and Europe
Altalto Immingham Limited is a subsidiary of Velocys and a collaboration with project co-investors British Airways and Shell.
Velocys is a British sustainable fuels technology company. Originally a spin-out from Oxford University, in 2008 the company acquired a US company based on complementary technology developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Over 15 years Velocys has developed proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technology that enables the production of drop-in transport fuels from the embedded carbon-sources in a variety of waste materials. Having demonstrated its technology at commercial scale, Velocys is currently developing projects in Natchez, Mississippi, USA and Immingham, UK to produce fuels that significantly reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and key exhaust pollutants for aviation and road transport.
Velocys is leading the development of the Altalto Immingham project and has assembled all the technology components into a standardised integrated design. Velocys also supplies the central processing unit: micro-Channel Fischer-Tropsch reactors with the proprietary Velocys Actocat catalyst. This is the part of the process that turns a gas mixture of carbon and hydrogen into the liquid hydrocarbons required to create the sustainable fuels.
British Airways intends to purchase jet fuel produced at the plant for use in its aircraft. This is an important step in the reduction of the airline’s carbon emissions towards the industry targets of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2050 from 2005 levels.
Shell intends to purchase both jet fuel and road fuel from Altalto, which may then be blended and sold to Shell’s customers, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. Shell will also provide technical expertise, based on its long experience of gasification and Fischer-Tropsch conversion.
The process enables the production of aviation and road fuels with 70% less net greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel.
Subject to planning and funding decisions, we plan to begin construction in 2021 and to start producing commercial volumes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in 2024.
For more information about the project, visit www.altalto.com or contact Robert Jeffery at Robert.Jeffery@fieldconsulting.co.uk or 07852 428 915.
The Fischer-Tropsch process uses a lot of energy:
The Fischer–Tropsch process is a collection of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons. These reactions occur in the presence of metal catalysts, typically at temperatures of 150–300 °C (302–572 °F) and pressures of one to several tens of atmospheres. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process
DfT, always trying to make aviation growth look “green”, to pay £434,000 to fund waste-to-jetfuel project
A project to turn landfill waste into (quotes) “sustainable” jet fuel has received a major boost by securing almost £5m of funding from the government and industry backers. The DfT has committed £434,000 to fund the next stage of the project, which will involve engineering and site studies to scope potential for a waste-based jet fuel plant in the UK. This will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste – otherwise destined for landfill – and convert it into jet fuel. The project is being led by biofuels firm Velocys, which has committed £1.5m to the next phase of development. The scheme has also secured a further £3m from industry partners, including Shell and British Airways. BA hopes to use the fuel, to claim it is cutting its carbon emissions (while continuing to grow, burning ever more fuel). The DfT is keen to give the impression that UK aviation expansion is fine, if some biofuels, or alternative fuels, are used. The funding for the Velocys project is part of £22m alternative fuels fund from the government, to advance development of “sustainable” fuels for aviation and freight transport. As of April 2018 renewable jet fuel also qualifies for credits under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).
Solena, the company meant to be producing jet fuel from London waste for BA, goes bankrupt
In February 2010 it was announced that British Airways had teamed up with American bioenergy company Solena Group to establish “Europe’s first” sustainable jet fuel plant, which was set to turn London’d domestic waste into aviation fuel. The plan was for BA to provide construction capital for a massive plant somewhere in East London. BA committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices. BA had hoped that this 2% contribution to its fuel consumption – the equivalent to all its fuel use at London City airport – would give it green credibility, and it would claim it cut its carbon emissions. The timescale for the plant to be built kept slipping. Nothing has been heard of it for a long time. Now it has been announced that Solena has gone into bankruptcy in the USA. It was never clear why, if genuinely low carbon fuels could be produced from London’s waste, why these should not be used for essential vehicles in London – and why they would instead become a PR exercise for an airline. British Airways and the company Velocys are listed as creditors of Solena.
British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel from London’s rubbish – announcement soon?
GreenAir online gives an update on the anticipated biofuel plant (costing around $500 million) to be built in east London, to produce diesel and jet fuel. GreenAir says that according to British Airways’ a 20-acre (8ha) site has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging.” GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of London municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will – they hope – meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport. BA hope they can claim annual carbon savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.” “The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne, so the scheme hopes to get the rubbish cheaply – saving councils the landfill tax. Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel produced by the plant. They hope to start building in early 2015 and start producing fuel in 2017.
Velocys CEO suspended over allegations of ‘serious misconduct’
Velocys, the energy company backed by the billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, has suspended its chief executive Roy Lipski over “allegations of serious misconduct”.