British Airway's SAF Academic Challenge winners announced
British Airways announced the winners of its BA 2119: Future of Fuels challenge. The challenge was launched by then Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg on 30 November 2018 and called on British universities to develop a new or different pathway to achieve global leadership in the development of sustainable aviation fuels. The airline posed the question of how to power a long-haul flight for at least five hours and produce zero CO2 emissions. After six months of competition in which 11 universities were whittled down to a final three, teams from Heriot Watt, the London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London (UCL) presented their solutions to an expert judging panel. Team entries were judged on a combination of criteria including carbon reduction potential, level of innovation, value to the UK economy and feasibility to implement.
British Airways Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz presented the winning team with its prize. UCL will receive £25,000 and an invitation to present to the IAG Board, as well as at the IATA Alternative Fuels Symposium in New Orleans in November and at the Annual Sustainability Summit in Montreal later this month. UCL’s solution would turn household waste into jet fuel, building plants to convert the waste near landfill sites across the country. The team estimates that this could deliver 3.5 million tonnes of jet fuel annually by 2050, resulting in negative emissions and the equivalent of taking more than 5.5 million cars off the road every year.