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Producing green aviation fuel by capturing CO2 from municipal waste – a first in Europe

In an interdisciplinary consortium, LIPOR (Intermunicipal Waste Management of Greater Porto), P2X Europe and Veolia, are launching studies to produce green synthetic e-fuel for the aviation industry from CO2 waste gas from the municipal waste-to-energy plant in the city of Maia, north of Porto. A first in Europe, this project is expected to revolutionise the municipal waste-to-energy industry with its innovative technology.

The first step was taken on 17 February, when the consortium signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch feasibility studies for the industrial production of sustainable alternative aviation fuel.

This CO2 recovery project in the LIPOR municipal waste-to-energy unit consists of extracting and purifying the biogenic part of CO2, i.e. 60% of the emissions generated by incineration. Up to 100,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 can be captured and converted into e-fuels and then transformed into green synthetic products: e-kerosene, e-diesel and chemicals. This innovative carbon capture technology will be integrated with the energy recovery facility, producing near-zero or negative CO2 electricity. This solution will improve the environmental and energy balance of municipal waste recovery.

A real breakthrough for the waste-to-energy industry, this alternative fuel production will accelerate the transition to a circular economy, in line with Portugal's energy and climate policies and its 2050 carbon neutrality targets.

José Manuel Ribeiro, President of LIPOR said:

This project sets a good example on how waste management systems can make a relevant contribution to the decarbonization of the economy and to Carbon Neutrality. And more than contributing, they can lead, paving the way through innovative projects like the one that we are going to implement and which will also contribute to position Portugal among the first countries to invest in the circular carbon economy.

José de Melo Bandeira, Veolia Portugal CEO added: 

Carbon capture technologies are part of the journey for decarbonizing our industrial processes. Reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions has its own limits, therefore capturing, storing or using these gases is critical for successful global results. 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.

Christoph Weber, P2X Europe co-CEO added:

By capturing CO2 from the waste gas stream before being released into the atmosphere, the “Waste-to-Jet” project gives non-recyclable municipal waste a climate-friendly afterlife. Integrating PtL technology into existing WtE plants provides a unique solution for the simultaneous decarbonization of waste management and air travel.


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