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Science & Technology

Scientists come up with new type of jet fuel made out of excrement

By T.K. Randall
January 2, 2024 · Comment icon 15 comments
Ryanair flight at Stansted Airport.
Could excrement-based biofuel be the future of aviation ? Image Credit: Pixabay / soynanii
The idea of keeping airplanes in the sky with fuel made from human waste might soon become a reality.
These days scientists are always on the lookout for novel and effective new ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and this latest invention certainly qualifies as one of the most unique we've seen to date.

Based in Gloucestershire, England, Firefly Green Fuels has discovered a way to turn ordinary human waste into biofuel that is almost identical to the fuel typically used in jet planes.

Not only that, but it produces 92% less carbon dioxide than regular jet fuel.

"We wanted to find a really low-value feedstock that was highly abundant," said CEO James Hygate.

"And of course poo is abundant."
To create the biofuel, the firm uses a process known as hydrothermal liquefaction which involves applying a combination of high pressure and heat to convert the waste into 'bio-crude' oil.

Kerosene can then be extracted from it using fractional distillation.

According to the company, it would take the sewage produced by around 10,000 people to create enough fuel to fly a typical passenger airliner from London to New York.

If the sewage produced in a year by the entire population of the UK was converted into biofuel, it would cover approximately 5% of the country's aviation fuel requirements.

Not a lot, certainly, but potentially a step in the right direction.

"That's pretty exciting," said Hygate. "There's a 10 per cent sustainable aviation fuel requirement, that's a legal mandate. And we could meet half of that with poo."

Source: Mail Online | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by joc 6 months ago
Comment icon #7 Posted by Cho Jinn 6 months ago
This should cut into MSNBC’s travel expenses nicely.
Comment icon #8 Posted by qxcontinuum 6 months ago
So i guess gas, unless they'd take the turds only from alcoholic peeps ?
Comment icon #9 Posted by sanchez710 6 months ago
Ryanair are full of it anyway.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Stiff 6 months ago
Oh I don't know. I reckon with the amount Cookie Monster spouts in the threads on this forum alone, he could provide enough to fly airlines around the world non stop. Joining forces with Papa G would render oil companies useless by the end of the decade 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Desertrat56 6 months ago
Three Words - New York City. Just think, the city could have a new revenue stream selling sewage to the airlines, or setting up methane plants and selling that to the airlines.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Abramelin 6 months ago
Yeah, I already suspected people wouldn't have to go to the airport delivering their plastic bags with crap....
Comment icon #13 Posted by Nosy.Matters 6 months ago
One of my cousin's thoughts a while back over recipe ideas ... that kind of trailed off Which yield the most propellant baked beans or refried beans? These are important questions.     So --in the future? mass camps of industrial poo workers? eeeeh kind of weak have to work in my jokes ? 
Comment icon #14 Posted by MrsGently 6 months ago
That's pretty cool. Our human waste should really get more attention as ressource like pee for phosphor 'recycling'
Comment icon #15 Posted by Desertrat56 6 months ago
Many people have tried using human waste to produce methane.   It is not a new idea. https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-022-00166-2 https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/what-on-earth-natural-gas-methane-1.5891975 https://climate.miami.edu/renewable-energy/methane-as-a-fuel-source/index.html http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2016/ph240/yoon2/ https://www.iea.org/energy-system/fossil-fuels/methane-abatement What is methane abatement? Oil, gas and coal mining operations release large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, either by accident or design. Equipment and operational techniques ca... [More]


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