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Solena – BA One Destination – British Airways


A CG impression of the Solena biojet fuel plant.

In 2009 British Airways formed a partnership with Solena, a renewable energy technology company based in the US. Together we are developing a project to create sustainable biojet fuel by processing municipal waste using plasma gasification technology. We aim to build a commercial scale biojet fuel plant in the South East of England; the first of its kind in Europe. It will convert up to 500,000 tonnes of waste into 16m gallons of aviation biofuel each year, meeting all of British Airways’ fuel needs at London City Airport. The fuel itself will be cleaner burning than kerosene providing air quality benefits as the fuel produces much lower levels of particulate matterA digger piles up waste material inside a warehouse.

By using biomass waste to produce the biojet fuel, the project will help to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. In addition, its zero waste philosophy means that all materials from the plant are recycled – producing renewable naphtha that can be used to make renewable plastics or blended into other fuels, and it also produces a solid aggregate-type material. The plant will also produce more than 20MW net of green renewable power that can be fed into the grid and any excess steam can be used for local heating applications.

The BA and Solena partnership project represents a significant inward investment of new green technology into the UK. Helping to divert waste from landfill sites, providing energy to the local area and producing greener aviation fuel, the project will help to reinforce the UK’s position as an innovator in technological advancement whilst providing leadership in the area of sustainable green energy and biojet fuel solutions.

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