The UK’s Department for Transport announced today that it has awarded more than £80 million to a series of projects aimed at producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from sources including household and commercial waste, and industrial waste gases.

The largest awards included a £27 million grant to UK-based sustainable fuels technology company Velocys, for its Altalto Sustainable Aviation Fuel project in Immingham, UK, which will convert black bin bag waste into SAF, and £25 million to carbon capture and transformation (CCT) company LanzaTech for DRAGON, a commercial scale plant in South Wales that will convert steel mill off-gases into ethanol and then uses alcohol-to-jet technology to produce SAF. The Velocsy and LanzaTech projects are expected to be operational in 2028 and 2026, and to produce 37 kt/y and 79 kt/y of SAF at full capacity, respectively.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said:

“We must accelerate deployment of SAF plants in the UK. We’re excited that Project DRAGON has been recognized for its potential to deliver results and create new jobs while producing the volumes of SAF greatly needed by a sector that has limited options today.”

The awards were made from the UK’s £165 million Advanced Fuels Fund, aimed at supporting the development of SAF production plants in the UK. The fund was launched alongside the UK’s “Jet Zero” strategy this year, its plan to achieve net zero aviation by 2050. The strategy aims to reduce emissions from aviation by more than 60% by 2050, and envisions 2019 as the peak year for the sector’s emissions.

Additional awards from the fund announced today included £11 million to alfanar Energy for an 87 kt/y SAF plant in the Industrial Cluster at Teesside, expected to be operational in 2028, £16.8 million to Fulcrum BioEnergy for an 83.7 kt/y plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, expected in 2027, and another £2.5 million to Velocys for a demonstration plant for the conversion of carbon dioxide into SAF.

According to the Department for Transport, the 5 projects are expected to produce over 300,000 tonnes of SAF a year, and reduce emissions by an average of 200,000 tonnes annually.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“Using waste or by-products to refuel airliners sounds like a flight of fancy, but thanks to £165 million of government funding it’s going to help us make guilt-free flying a reality.”

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