The competition was launched in March 2021 as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan. The aim of the competition is to support British companies that are pioneering new technologies to convert household rubbish, waste wood and excess electricity into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), thereby helping to make the aviation sector more sustainable.
The shortlisted proposals include projects aiming to produce jet fuel from:
carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere combined with hydrogen from water
alcohol derived from wastes
everyday household and commercial black bag rubbish
The government believes these projects have the potential to produce SAF capable of reducing emissions by more than 70 percent when used in place of conventional fossil jet fuel. The competition supports large-scale SAF production projects, including their early-stage development, involving front end engineering design (FEED), pre-FEED and feasibility studies. The government also believes, from various research findings conducted in this area, that by 2040 the SAF sector could generate between £0.7 billion and £1.66 billion a year for the UK economy, with potentially half of this coming from the export of intellectual property and the provision of engineering services. This industry could also potentially create between 5,000 and 11,000 green jobs and improve UK fuel security.
The competition builds on work conducted by previous Department for Transport competitions, including the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC) and the ongoing Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).
Shortlisted organisations so far include:
Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd
alfanar Energy Ltd
Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd
Green Fuels Research Ltd
Lanzatech UK Ltd
Lanzatech UK Ltd and Carbon Engineering
Nova Pangaea Technologies (UK) Ltd
Velocys Projects Ltd
“In order to deliver the transport decarbonisation plan, we need to increase and accelerate investment in technologies that will deliver the net zero mandate" said Sarah Ellerby, CEO of Nova Pangaea Technologies. "We want the UK to be a world leader in SAF and to do this we have to be ambitious and embrace innovation. We plan to deliver the first UK based end-to-end sustainable value chain from UK wood waste and residues to SAF. We are not only proud to partner with British Airways and LanzaJet but proud that the UK is leading the charge to decarbonise aviation.”
Sean Doyle, CEO and Chairman of British Airways, added that the company is determined to transform the sustainability of the industry and that the funding from the government is critical in helping to show the feasibility of building sustainable aviation fuel plants.
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