Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Sustainable development

From landfill to jet fuel: the plastic panacea?

Last week British Airways announced that the world’s first sustainable aviation fuel plant will be built in Thurrock, Essex. The airline claims that 575,000 tonnes of plastic waste, otherwise destined for landfill or incineration, will be converted into 120,000 tonnes of liquid fuel each year. According to BA, that’s enough to power the annual flights from London City Airport, twice over. The concept of converting landfill waste into jet fuel sounds like something out of a science fiction film, but in fact, relies on two long-standing techniques.

Landfill to jet fuel

From landfill to jet fuel: could plastic pyrolysis reduce our reliance on fossil fuels? Photo credit: (L) David Dodge, (R) Flickr user Eddie.

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