Reducing Our Emissions: Will Waste Products Fuel Our Aeroplanes?

There has been a continuous climb in the amount of people travelling by plane and there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. We in fact go on our first family holiday abroad in three months time and the boys cannot wait to go on a plane.  

When boarding the flight, the last thing on our minds will be the source of fuel the aircraft is using. Did you know that waste management experts, Reconomy, who are unbeatable on skip hire prices, have looked into whether waste will be used as the new fuel for our aeroplanes.

When it comes to fuel consumption by our aeroplanes, the British government are set to invest into research to find a low-carbon solution to make our planes lift off the ground. And want to be a zero-emmisions country by 2040.

The Department of Transport have said that planes and lorries could have the potential to be driven by waste in the future and could use up to 90% less carbon in comparison to regular fossil fuels. With the government set to invest a staggering £22m, which could create five new low-carbon fuel plants, this would come as a huge change for the waste industry in the UK. 

In 2005, 2.14bn people travelled by aeroplane and rose gradually each year, in 2012 that number of people travelling hit the 3bn mark, with 2016 seeing that there were 3.77bn travellers. And as more people take journeys, air pollution is becoming more of a problem. 

Aeroplanes not only consume a huge amount of fuel to get themselves off the ground, but they also emit particles and gases into the air which is causing a long-term effect on climate change and ocean acidification. 

Fuel in action
Aside from the British government’s investment, Velocys has teamed up with British Airways to bring the waste-to-renewable-jet-fuel to life. The waste plant used is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of waste produce each year, which will be converted into clean-burning fuel that will later be used to help get British Airway planes off the ground. 

How amazing is it that, the waste that is used to literally get a plane to fly, is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 60%, with a 90% reduction in particulate matter emissions in comparison to traditional jet fuel.

Airlines Abroad
In Germany, Lufthansa is another airline that is trying to improve the environment. In 2016, it entered a contract with a company that produces biofuel from grain. Lufthansa will purchase 8 million gallons of biofuels per year until 2020, and has already done many biofuel and jet fuel testings on commercial flights. 

In America, using biofuels from agricultural and household waste, United Airlines use around 30% biofuel and 70% conventional fuel. From this, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by a huge 60% in comparison to conventional jet fuel.

Hainan Airlines in China recently took a 12.5-hour flight from Beijing to Chicago using 15% biofuel and 85% conventional jet fuel. Using cooking oils, which included vegetable oils and animal fat, were taken from restaurants; and this could help reduce emissions by 50%, if used instead of normal jet fuel and it's getting use out of all that old oil too.

And right at the other side of the world, Qantas is another airline that has made significant progression when it comes to fuelling aeroplanes with waste. In 2012, the Australian airline, an Airbus A330, which is a wide-body jet with a twin engine, and powered it with 50% cooking oils and 50% conventional jet fuel. And that's not it. In 2018, they hope to achieve a flight from Australia to America with 30% biofuel from mustard seeds and 70% conventional fuel. This should reduce emissions by 20%.

So, over the next few years, it seems that not only will our British government seek to try and reduce our carbon footprint where flying is concerned, but all around the world, countries are doing the same. 


  1. I've never travelled by plane, hope you all enjoy your first trip abroad soon, I'd never thought of the amount of plane emissions, it would be great if they could recycle waste to fuel them, it would be economic and probably cheaper too xxx

  2. I love flying and we regularly go abroad! I hope they can make flying and the fuel used more economical and better for the environment asap

  3. Always good if it means protecting and preserving our world

  4. Some of the airlines provides the Best Flight Booking options which offers the real traveling options to enjoy the vacations trip around the world.Most of the people always preffer to book the advance flight ticket which is best option to enjoy the holiday trip.