Australian researchers develop aviation fuel from landfill gases

May 02, 2024 / 5:19 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Researchers at an Australian university have developed a chemical process to produce sustainable aviation fuel from gases emitted by landfills, potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This innovative method aims to harness carbon dioxide and methane emitted from landfills to power airplanes, thereby helping the aviation industry achieve its net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.
PJ Cullen, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Sydney, explains that their process converts greenhouse gases into fuel using plasma, offering a win-win solution. The aviation industry, responsible for about three percent of global emissions, could benefit significantly from this sustainable approach.

While sustainable aviation fuel is currently more expensive than traditional jet fuel, Cullen hopes their process will make it more affordable by utilizing cheap or free electricity for conversion, thereby addressing cost concerns.

Moreover, the utilisation of methane from landfills addresses another critical sustainability issue. Methane emissions from human activities have contributed significantly to global temperature rise. Richard Kirkman, CEO of waste management company Veolia for Australia and New Zealand, envisions converting all of Australia's waste into energy, potentially mitigating climate change by supplementing about 10 percent of the country's energy supply.

Despite its potential, the new method requires scaling and integration into existing workflows. However, Cullen emphasizes its consistency, allowing for accurate modeling of gas emissions from landfills, a crucial step toward broader adoption.

May 02, 2024 / 5:19 PM

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