Neste are exploring the use of plastic waste as a raw material for fuel.

Neste are the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and are now turning to the plastic pollution crisis to become more sustainable.

Matti Lehmus, Executive Vice President of Neste’s oil products business area, said: “We are already the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel from waste and residues. Our target is to also be a leader in low-carbon refining and support circular economy by developing innovative solutions based on waste plastic.”

Neste has teamed with ReNew, a UK recycling firm, and Licella, an Australian technology developer, to develop new industrial and commercial uses for mixed plastic waste including fuel, chemicals and new plastics. 

Len Humphry’s, CEO of Licella Holdings, said: “The collaboration with Neste and ReNew ELP will help to create markets for recycled carbon fuels and chemicals at a critical time as Europe pushes towards a circular economy.”

Richard Daley, Managing Director of ReNew ELP, said: “ReNew ELP is very pleased to join this collaboration with Neste. Neste’s reputation as a global leader in the production of sustainable, high quality, low-carbon products makes them an ideal development partner for us.”

Currently, 27 million tonnes per year of plastic waste is generated in Europe and only a third is collected for recycling.

Neste have already set a goal to process more than one million tonnes of plastic waste per year by 2030. In 2018, they were the 2nd most sustainable company on the global 100 list. The business has also teamed with IKEA to develop bio-plastics from raw materials such as waste fats and oils.

Read more: Plastic waste to be used for fuel

Indian airline, SpiceJet, has completed its first test flight running on a biojet fuel blend.

It became the first airline in the country to run on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with a blend of 75 per cent air turbine fuel and 25 per cent biojet fuel.

Currently, the aviation industry contributes to around 2 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Virgin Atlantic in 2008 were the first airline to run on a fuel blend, since then over 25 airlines have gradually introduced the use of SAF.

The global aviation industry has committed to being cleaner. By producing technologically advanced aircrafts fuel efficiency is being improved by 1.5 per cent a year. By 2050, the members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation have pledged to cut emissions to 50 per cent of 2005 levels.

The biofuel used on Monday was developed by, Dehradun-based, Indian Institute of Petroleum. It has met specifications standards of Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier for commercial application in aircraft.

The airline reported that the advantage of using biojet fuel compared to air turbine fuel is a reduction in carbon emissions as well as increased fuel efficiency.

G P Gupta, SpiceJet’s Chief Strategy Officer, said: “The results have been very positive. According to preliminary studies, the power from biofuel was even better than regular aviation turbine fuel.”

Ajay Singh, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director, said: “It has the potential to reduce our dependence on traditional aviation fuel by up to 50 per cent on every flight and bring down fares.”

Global oil prices have been fluctuating for a while. Today, it was reported that some companies, including American Airlines, have suspended flights because fuel is too expensive.

Read more: India completes first biofuel test flight

Tesco has re-surfaced a car park in Scotland by using plastic waste.

The supermarket chain has worked in partnership with MacRebur, a plastic road company, to re-surface the car park at the Tesco Extra at Cuckoo Bridge, Dumfries.

This saved over 900 kilograms of plastic from going to landfill. By using the waste plastic, the equivalent weight in fossil fuels has been saved from extraction. The carbon footprint has also been reduced by over a tonne.

Tony McCartney, MacRebur Plastic Road Company, said: “We’re able to take the waste plastics that are otherwise destined for landfill and add them into an asphalt mix to create a stronger, longer lasting, pothole free road surface.”

Kene Umeasiegbu, Head of Environment at Tesco, said: “We are working hard to reduce plastics and reuse and recycle wherever possible. Re-using waste plastics in this way is another example of how Tesco are innovating in the war against waste.”

Tesco have said that they will test the road surface through the winter and if successful will aim to work with MacRebur on future projects to help re-use plastic waste.

Tesco have previously led the charge in sustainable measures and were the first major retailer to remove 5p bags from its stores, resulting in the amount of single use bags sold by Tesco in the last year reducing by more than half. They also have made a pledge for all packaging to be fully recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Read more: Tesco transform recycled plastic into a car park

The South African Government has approved a draft to increase renewable energy generation.

Jacob Zuma, the former President, had proposed expanding the nuclear power sector by adding new nuclear capacity in excess of 9 gigawatt. However, this February, he faced a vote of no confidence and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

Jeff Radebe, South Africa’s Energy Minister, announced this week to the press that the cabinet had approved the updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2018) which will increase renewable energy capacity and add only a minimal amount of new coal.

Radebe said: “The electricity generation and distribution landscape in South Africa is changing at a rapid pace compared to the period before 2010. In keeping to our climate change commitments, the country has also introduced renewable energy through independent power producers.”

The IRP means that only 1 gigawatt worth of new coal capacity will be added by 2030 and there will be over 15 gigawatt of renewable energy used including hydropower, solar and wind.

South Africa is currently the largest carbon-emitting country in Africa. Radebe says that is important that “There is significant change in the energy mix post-2030 which is mainly driven by decommissioning of old coal power plant that reach their end of life.”

Yesterday, the UK announced plans to invest £56 million into South Africa to develop energy storage technology to help supply secure renewable power in the country.

The UK Government said: “This project, the first of its kind in the region, will use an innovative technology to transform the country’s energy system, supporting South Africa’s long-term commitment to decreasing carbon emissions by developing bold, new renewable technologies – bringing about a climate revolution whilst also enabling the creation of thousands of jobs for young South Africans.”

Read more: Renewable energy to replace nuclear power in...

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