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Virgin signs on with biofuel company

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 14, 2011

Virgin has signed an agreement with an Australian biofuel company to pursue a technology that could produce jet fuel from agricutural waste.

Virgin Australia has entered another agreement with a biofuel company as it searches for ways to cut fuel costs.

The memorandum of understanding with Australian company Licella will support the commercialisation of a process that could make aviation fuel out of biological waste.

Under a joint venture, Licella and Norske Skog Australasia have exclusive license to what is known as Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (CAT-HTR) technology, which the companies claim can produce high-quality bio-crude from agricultural and farm waste using a process much simpler than current biomass technologies. The resulting fuel will emit 60 per cent less carbon than fossil fuels, they say.

The MoU came as a new demonstration plant for the CAT-HTR technology was opened Wednesday in Summersby on the NSW Central Coast.

With fuel costs soaring, both Virgin and Qantas are looking for alternative sources of cleaner fuels. Virgin has already staked a claim to a project that could convert mallee tree biomass into fuel.


Air France recently completed what it billed as “the world’s greenest commercial flight” using a 50:50 mix of biofuel and normal jet fuel.

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