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Fuel from plastic waste to power long-distance flight

By: Anthony Clark

August 22, 2012

SYDNEY (Aug. 22, 11:45 a.m. ET) — A light aircraft powered by fuel made from waste plastic will attempt to enter the record books.

Pilot Jeremy Rowsell will fly from Sydney to London in a single-engine plane, a Cessna 182; the first time such a journey has been completed by an aircraft of its type.

He will also be the first pilot to fly an aircraft using a biofuel derived from plastic waste as a single source of power.

The “On Wings of Waste” project will use fuel produced by Portlaoise, Ireland-based Cynar plc.

“Flying is critical to the economy, vital for saving lives and is the best way to experience the planet we live on. We can’t stop flying but how can we do that and do it sustainably?” Rowsell said.

“Our objective is to prove that this synthetic fuel made from plastic waste is viable for a number of practical solutions and by doing so replace the need to use fossil fuels from conventional sources.

The Sydney-to-London flight will require 4,000 liters of diesel fuel. According to Cynar, that much fuel will be created from about 5 metric tons of plastic waste.