The fuel for ‘On Wings of Waste’ flight uses end of life plastic
This would otherwise end up in landfill found in garbage patches in the ocean and landfill sites, where it takes hundreds of years to degrade.
95% of the end of life material is usable for diesel fuel and the remaining 5%, known as ‘Char’ is a solid which can be used, for example, as fuel additive or pigment.
Using a process called TAC (Thermal Anaerobic Conversion) plastics are heated in an oxygen-free environment to prevent them from burning. The waste plastic is broken into component hydrocarbons to create the equivalent of a petroleum distillate.
As there is no burning of the plastics, but rather a melting process, there are NO toxic emissions released into the environment.
The end product is a high quality, low sulphur diesel.
‘On Wings of Waste’ showcases a fuel that is practical for the aviation market but also has other applications. It will perform like any other diesel except with one important difference: its source will be from end of life non-recyclable plastic. For the 1000L of plastic fuel that the world first ‘high wire’ flight will require to consume, approximately one tonne of waste plastic will be required.
Plastic Energy, the company producing the fuel for the flight, believes in sustainability in its broadest sense, making synthetic fuels from waste that would be otherwise buried or burnt.
"We are fully behind Jeremy’s ambitious project to demonstrate the robustness and practicality of fuel processed from end of life plastic. It is time to take action."