Virgin Australia exploring the potential with Licella
- By Helen Craig -
- Dec 14, 2011
Virgin Australia today announced it has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australian-based biofuel company Licella to support the commercialisation of a unique new process that converts biomass into sustainable aviation fuel.
The Australian invention, Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (CAT-HTR), uses water technology to produce high quality bio-crude oil from a wide range of different biomass, including agricultural and farm waste.
While existing technologies require several processes to produce an aviation-quality biofuel, CAT-HTR only involves one step, without the use of expensive by-products or pre-treatment. The process has been developed over the past three and a half years at Licella’s Pilot Facility in Somersby on the NSW Central Coast with guidance from Professor Maschmeyer of the University of Sydney.
Under the MoU, Virgin Australia and Licella will jointly explore the potential of CAT-HTR through further testing of the aviation fuel the technology produces, with the aim of supporting its certification and reaching a commercial off-take agreement.
Virgin Australia Group Executive of Operations Sean Donohue said “Licella‘s technology could potentially complement the variety of sustainable Australian feedstocks we are currently exploring, one of which being the mallee eucalypt tree.”
This exciting announcement follows on from Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with LanzaTech, to pilot another low carbon aviation fuel. To find out more about our companies’ approach, visit our Flying High webpage.
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