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Food Waste Can Be Used to Fuel Aircrafts

In a new collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, DTU and the University of Southern Denmark, SDU, the Danish biogas company Nature Energy will try to make aircraft fuel out of biogas.

Coffee grounds, potato peels and chicken wings. Within a few years it might be the new aircraft fuel. As of March 1 2019, the Danish biogas company Nature Energy started a research project in collaboration with Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Southern Denmark (SDU) to examine the use of biogas as aircraft fuel.

Biogas is produced by grinding collected food waste, slurry and other biological material. After the grinding, the material’s gas is extracted at a biogas plant before it can be sent out into the gas network, where it can be used for e.g. heating a home. The residual product is degassed slurry that goes back to the farmers who can use it to fertilize their fields.

“The purpose is to find alternative possibilities for biogas. Here, aircraft fuel is a good topic to address”, says Ole Hvelplund, CEO of Nature Energy.

Expect fast results

The project is supported by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the Danish Shipping company Maersk and the Danish toy company Lego and the first aircraft fuel made of food waste expects to be on the market in four years. But Ole Hvelplund expects to see results before that.

Nature Energy has nine biogas plants , where biogas is already being extracted. Several places are already experimenting with utilizing the gas as fuel for e.g. trucks and buses. With the new project the aim is to find out whether biogas is also suitable as a green alternative to aircraft fuels.

“There is a huge demand. We hear a lot about air traffic being a climatic problem and that there is no solution”, says Ole Hvelplund and continues:

“The fuel we produce at our biogas plants is completely green. It is based on waste materials that we collect around the country, and the product we get from it is CO2 neutral. When you start to fly on fuel made from biogas, you can travel with good conscience.”

Source: DR News

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