Innovation That Matters

Sustainable jet fuel is made from household garbage

Travel & Tourism

United Airlines will soon be using biofuel — produced by Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc from household trash — to power some of their flights.

The search for sustainable energy sources continues, and United Airlines are the latest company to turn to waste products as a viable alternative. The airline has formed a partnership with Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc, investing USD 30 million in the alternative energy provider who converts household trash and municipal solid waste into clean, renewable fuel.


The partnership will see five projects launched across the US, which could potentially produce up to 180 million gallons of biofuel every year. Initially, the hybrid fuel — 30 percent biofuel to 70 percent regular jet fuel — will be used to power five flights a day between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fulcrum’s biofuel is created using a low-cost thermochemical process, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent, lessens Western dependence on imported oil, and of course, diminishes the amount of trash finding its way into landfills.

The average American produces one ton of rubbish per year, which could create 65 gallons of biofuel. Could other airlines soon follow suit?



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