US-based LanzaTech has produced 1,500gal of jet fuel from Lanzanol, the company's low-carbon ethanol.

The fuel is made using waste industrial gases from steel mills through a fermentation process.

The breakthrough towards developing commercially viable low carbon fuel is the result of a five-year partnership between LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic.

"We are closer than ever before to bringing a sustainable product to the market for commercial use by Virgin Atlantic and other global airlines."

Lanzanol was produced at the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) certified Shougang demonstration facility in China

This alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) process was developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), with support from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and funding from HSBC.

LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic will continue to work with Boeing and other companies to complete additional testing, before approving the fuel for use in commercial aircraft.

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The LanzaTech jet fuel could be used in a test flight in 2017, following the receipt of all initial approvals.

Data gathered from the flight will allow the partnership to seek approval for the fuel on routine commercial flights.

This will pave way for LanzaTech to fund and build the first commercial jet fuel plant to supply fuel to Virgin Atlantic and other airlines.

The partnership expects the first LanzaTech jet fuel facility will be based in the UK.

Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson said: “This is a real game changer for aviation and could significantly reduce the industry’s reliance on oil within our lifetime. 

"Our understanding of low carbon fuels has developed rapidly over the last decade, and we are closer than ever before to bringing a sustainable product to the market for commercial use by Virgin Atlantic and other global airlines.”

LanzaTech chief executive Dr Jennifer Holmgren said: “We can now truly imagine a world where a steel mill can not only produce the steel for the components of the plane but also recycle its gases to produce the fuel that powers the aircraft.

"This programme illustrates that such breakthroughs are only possible through collaboration. In this case, it is governments (US DOE, FAA, DARPA), laboratories (PNNL, AFRL, SWRI, MTU, UDRI), NGOs (RSB) and industry (Virgin, HSBC, Boeing, Shougang, Airlines for America) coming together to disrupt our current global carbon trajectory.

“We look forward to working with colleagues past, present and future to make this pioneering new fuel a commercial reality."