Waste-to-energy project to produce green aviation fuel

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Waste CO2 from the LIPOR municipal waste-to-energy plant in Maia, Portugal, is set to be captured and converted into green synthetic e-fuels for the aviation industry.

waste-to-energy
Image credit: Veolia

An interdisciplinary consortium, comprising LIPOR (Intermunicipal Waste Management of Greater Porto), P2X Europe and Veolia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 17 February to launch feasibility studies for the ‘Waste-to-Jet’ project, the first of its kind in Europe.

The CO2 recovery project in the LIPOR municipal waste-to-energy unit will involve extracting and purifying the biogenic part of CO2, 60 per cent of the emissions generated by incineration.

“This project sets a good example on how waste management systems can make a relevant contribution to the decarbonisation of the economy and to Carbon Neutrality,” said José Manuel Ribeiro, president of LIPOR.

Up to 100,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 can be captured and converted into e-fuels and then transformed into green synthetic products, namely e-kerosene, e-diesel and chemicals. The carbon capture technology will be integrated with the energy recovery facility, producing near-zero or negative CO2 electricity, leading to an improved environmental and energy balance of municipal waste recovery.

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Described by the consortium as a ‘real breakthrough’ for the waste-to-energy industry, the alternative fuel production method aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

“Reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions has its own limits, therefore capturing, storing or using these gases is critical for successful global results,” said José de Melo Bandeira, Veolia Portugal CEO.

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“This project is an excellent example of collaboration between various industrial players for the ecological transformation, towards innovative and challenging solutions that will create a benchmark and hopefully inspire others to follow.”

Cristoph Weber, P2X Europe CEO added that the project gives non-recyclable municipal waste a ‘climate-friendly afterlife’, commenting: “Integrating PtL technology into existing WtE plants provides a unique solution for the simultaneous decarbonisation of waste management and air travel.”