One Company Thinks The Answer To Green Aviation Could Be In Your Sewer Right Now

It might be a gross idea, but the environmental benefit could be enormous. One Company Thinks The Answer To Green Aviation Could Be In Your Sewer Right Now Giphy

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The airline industry has a huge impact on the environment, but there aren’t many options underway to replace traditional jet fuel. A few companies have rolled out renewable fuel to promising results and electricity could be an attractive alternative when the technology catches up, but there’s one U.K.-based company that is taking an innovative (albeit arguably disgusting) approach to the important issue.

Waste not, want not

Firefly Green Fuels says it can create a type of kerosene capable of providing energy to a jet engine using what CEO James Hygate bluntly referred to as “poo.”

Chemists say they’ve been able to transform the waste into a type of energy virtually indistinguishable in performance from run-of-the-mill jet fuel.

“We wanted to find a really low-value feedstock that was highly abundant,” Hygate explained. “And, of course, poo is abundant.”

Not only is it everywhere and, by its very nature, very cheap, but studies indicate that its impact on the environment is 90% lower than traditional fuels — even when taking into account the energy used to produce it.

A natural progression

If you’re looking forward to a poo-powered passenger jet flight anytime soon, don’t get your hopes up. There’s still a lot of work to be done before Firefly can send this brown-turned-green energy out to the masses … but it’s shaping up to be a stopgap solution until an even cleaner form of aviation power can be perfected.

And this isn’t Hygate’s first renewable rodeo and he has a pretty solid track record thus far. Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, he was at the forefront of the emerging green energy movement and started creating biodiesel out of canola oil. That effort led to the creation of Green Fuels, a company that currently has a global footprint.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee December 28th, 2023
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