The airline industry is taking its first steps towards green energy.
British Airways has announced it is investing in a factory that will convert tonnes of household rubbish into enough jet fuel for all its flights from London City airport twice over.
Some 500,000 tonnes of waste generated by Londoners will be used by the UK facility each year to produce 16 million gallons of fuel.
Construction of the plant in east London will start within two years. It is set to produce fuel from 2014, creating up to 1,200 jobs.
BA said the plant would produce twice the amount of fuel needed to power all its flights from London City Airport.
It will be the first plant in Europe to produce jet fuel from waste matter.
It is estimated that the overall equivalent CO2 reduction as a result of the plant producing sustainable energy and fuel is approximately 550,000 tonnes per year.
The plant will be built by the US company Solena Group, with BA committing to buy all of its output.
The waste wil be fed into a high temperature “gasifier” to produce BioSynGas.
A chemical process called Fischer Tropsch is then used to convert the gas into biofuel.
Waste products from the process can be used to power the plant as well as supply 20MW of electricity to the national grid.
A solid waste product can be used as an aggregate in construction.
BA argues the plant will cut the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, reducing the amount of methane that is produced. Methane is thought to be a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.