British carrier Virgin Atlantic on Tuesday announced a tie-up with energy firm LanzaTech for the development of low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative in India.
The partnership represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology that will see waste gases from industrial steel production being captured, fermented and chemically converted using Swedish Biofuels technology for use as a jet fuel.
The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
"India, which is amongst the world's largest steel producers, will be one of the first countries where the fuel will be produced as LanzaTech and partners develop facilities there. Within three years, Virgin Atlantic routes from Delhi to London Heathrow could see flights run on the new fuel," the airline said.
LanzaTech estimates that its process can apply to 65% of the world's steel mills, allowing the fuel to be rolled out for worldwide commercial use.
"We were the first commercial airline to test a bio-fuel flight and we continue to lead the airline industry as the pioneer of sustainable aviation. This partnership to produce a next generation, low-carbon aviation fuel is a major step towards radically reducing our carbon footprint, and we are excited about the savings that this technology could help us achieve," a release issued by the airline quoting its president, Richard Branson, said.