Sustainable Jet Fuel Company Velocys Secures $6.42 Million in Funding for Waste-to-Fuel Project

(Photo: A landfill gas-to-liquids plant in Oklahoma City operated by ENVIA Energy, of which Velocys is a member. Credit: Velocys)

 

Velocys, a renewable fuels company, recently announced that £4.9m ($6.42 million USD) of funding has been secured to deliver the next development phase of the waste-to-sustainable jet fuel project that the company is developing in the UK. As part of the funding package, a grant of £434k ($569 USD) has been secured from the Department for Transport (DfT) under the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

Velocys reports that the award of this grant, together with ongoing policy support provided by the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, will help this waste-to-fuels project bring jobs and clean growth to the UK. The project is being developed with the financial and technical support of Shell and British Airways.

Highlights

  • Initial feasibility stage of project development successfully completed.
  • Next stage to include detailed pre-FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) engineering study and site permitting activities, fully funded by a combination of the F4C grant and £4.5m ($5.9 million USD) committed by the industry partners including Velocys.
    • Velocys will continue to lead the project and has committed £1.5m ($1.97 million USD) to this next development phase, a significant proportion of which is in the form of an in-kind contribution.
    • The next stage of the project will be developed by Velocys, Shell and British Airways.

The team is developing the engineering and business case for the construction of a first plant in the UK. Subject to a final investment decision, this plant will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of post-recycled waste, destined for landfill or incineration, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels.

The jet fuel produced, to be used by British Airways, is expected to deliver over 70% greenhouse gas reduction and 90% reduction in particulate matter emissions compared with conventional jet fuel. This would contribute to both carbon emissions reductions and local air quality improvements around major airports. The project partners expect to reach a final investment decision in the first half of 2020.

“We are very pleased that the Government has recognized the importance of alternative fuels for aviation and has supported our joint project with Velocys which will help to reduce carbon emissions and create UK jobs and growth,” said Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways.

In January, Qantas Airlines flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on a renewable jet fuel engineered from mustard seeds, according to Honeywell UOP. This 8,077-mile flight was the first between the two countries to use Honeywell Green Jet Fuel.

The fuel was produced by taking carinata seeds — a type of non-edible industrial mustard — engineered by the company Agrisoma Biosciences. Then the seeds get pressed to yield half their weight in oils that Paramount, California-based AltAir refined into jet fuel using Honeywell’s process. The renewable jet fuel can then replace up to half the petroleum jet fuel for a flight.

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