Velocys are leading a revolution in the airline industry to develop net negative emission transportation fuels. Using a mixture of carbon capture usage and storage, alongside a robust patent protected technology, they are creating a sustainable aviation fuel from an abundant source of solid waste feedstocks. Concerns over climate change are fuelling a growing movement to decarbonise transport, whether that is turning to electric vehicles and airplanes or tweaking existing technologies to become more carbon friendly.
Given that mass market electric aircraft are at least a decade away, Velocys’ advantage lies in creating a negative emission fuel that existing planes can use without the need for expensive reinvestment. This is highlighted by two key investors in the company, British Airways (who have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050) and Shell, who clearly see the Velocys technology and sustainable aviation fuel as the future.
The Velocys fuel system will reduce exhaust particulate matter by up to 90%, removes all sulphur, and with no changes to existing engines. Greenhouse gases will be reduced by 70%, and further savings can be made with an integrated carbon capture and storage system. Not only will it make the fuel more sustainable, it will reduce the level of waste that goes for incineration and landfill.
The business model is strong with potential customers already bought into the project, commitments by many of the major airlines for carbon emission reductions by 2025, and the ability to license their technology to build short to medium term revenue, while long term growth will come from their own production facilities.
Velocys’ demonstration project in Oklahoma has proved concept creating 1.6m litres of fuel, enough to cross the Atlantic just 20 times. A second plant licensing technology will be operational by 2021 in Oregon, producing about 70m litres a year. While here in the UK, planning permission has been granted for a full-scale jet fuel plant near Immingham, with production due to start in 2025.
This is exactly the sort of company we like to look at here at Killik & Co. Forward thinking, environmentally friendly and one that could end up transforming the way we travel today.