Virgin Atlantic Celebrates Milestone Flight With Sustainable Fuel

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating the completion of a milestone Florida-London flight that used LanzaTech’s carbon-recycling technology.

EPIC Fuels provided expertise in fuel blending, as well as technical and logistical support, to Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech to enable the first-ever commercial flight using a blend of petroleum-based jet fuel and alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) fuel produced from waste gases, says EPIC.

LanzaTech’s technology captures carbon-rich industrial waste gases, such as those from steel mills, and recycles them into ethanol. The ethanol, in turn, can be used for a variety of low-carbon products, including being upgraded to ATJ-SPK, which can be blended into jet fuel, explains EPIC.

After blending traditional jet fuel with LanzaTech ATJ-SPK, the fuel mix was rigorously tested at a commercial jet fuel-testing laboratory. EPIC also worked with Menzies Aviation at Orlando International Airport (MCO) to ensure all requirements were met for both ASTM testing and airport operations for this fuel.

The results met the required specifications for ASTM 1655 jet fuel and were cleared for use on the historic flight onboard one of Virgin’s Boeing 747 aircraft. The first flight using this fuel was VA flight 16 from MCO to London Gatwick (LGW) on Oct. 2.