World’s first net zero transatlantic flight from London to New York using 100% SAF.

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A Virgin Atlantic passenger jet powered by 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has taken off on today, Tuesday 28th November, In an effort to demonstrate the viability of low-carbon alternatives and ensure its future sustainability.

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, embarked on a historic transatlantic flight from London Heathrow to JFK International Airport, New York. Today marks a historic moment as the first commercial airline to soar across the Atlantic without relying on any fossil-based jet fuel. At the heart of this, is the use of 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), mostly made from used cooking oil and waste animal fat.

Transforming Waste Fats into Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

The flight will use a total of 70 tons of SAF, mostly made from waste cooking oils and animal fat, plus a small portion coming from corn waste used to produce animal feed. Virgin Atlantic says that the SAF alone will cut the flight’s emissions by 70%. Repurposing waste products into jet fuel to cut emissions provides the most immediate solution to help decarbonise our skies.  


Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, commented: “The 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel transatlantic flight will be a historic moment in aviation’s roadmap to decarbonisation. Alongside fleet transformation, SAF is the most readily available way for our industry to decarbonise, but currently there’s not enough supply and without it and the radical collaboration required to produce it, we can’t meet our 2030 targets. We need UK government support to create a UK SAF industry to allow for every single flight out of the UK to operate with 100% SAF – if we make it, we can fly it.”

Grease Guardian’s Contribution

Grease Guardian Automatic Grease Recovery Devices (AGRD’s) play a pivotal role in this journey by skimming grease from waste fats. This harvested ‘clean’ grease is then repurposed into SAF, contributing to the circular economy and the ‘Fork to Fuel’ initiative. This innovative approach not only addresses environmental concerns but also aligns with the circular economy principles by turning waste into a valuable resource.

Grease Guardian Automatic Grease Recovery Device

Traditionally deemed as waste in the food production industry, the fat from pigs, chickens, and cattle qualifies as SAF when properly harvested and purified.

SAF made from waste fats offers a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of approximately 70% over the life cycle compared to standard jet fuel. With revolutionary innovations such as Grease Guardian, clean grease and waste oils are becoming more readily available, therefore allowing greener air travel and addressing the pressing challenges of decarbonisation.

I guess it’s true, pigs really can fly.

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