Human waste could soon power planes – company — RT World News

A world-first plant in the UK will convert wastewater into sustainable aviation fuel

British biofuel company Firefly has reached an agreement with low-cost airline Wizz Air to build a commercial refinery that will help convert wastewater into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

According to Firefly, which developed the conversion process, the fuel is still undergoing regulatory testing. The company said this week that if approved, it could be used to power planes.

The refinery, the first of its kind, will be built in Essex and could start delivering commercial supplies from SAF by 2028 to serve London airports. There is potential for two more such facilities in the UK, according to Firefly.

Wizz said it is investing by placing a huge order for up to 525,000 tonnes of waste-based fuel from Firefly over the next 15 years.

Meanwhile, utility company Anglian Water announced it will supply Firefly with biosolids from its wastewater treatment process for a pilot facility.

Biosolids are present, Firefly CEO James Higgett said “Kind of disgusting stuff.” but “Amazing resource.”

“We're turning wastewater into jet fuel. I can't really think of many things cooler than that.” he added.

Producing SAF uses 70% less carbon than conventional jet fuel, but is currently much more expensive to produce.

According to Paul Hilditch, Firefly's chief operating officer, “There are enough biosolids in the UK to produce more than 200,000 tonnes of SAF.” – Which he said is sufficient to meet about half of the demand required from the Sudanese Armed Forces in 2030.

Hilditch claimed that diverted wastewater should be cheaper and more abundant, and could provide 5% of the fuel needs of UK airlines.

Under a government mandate, at least 10% of the fuel used by UK airlines must be made from sustainable raw materials by 2030.

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