A group of companies looking to convert carbon emissions from the steel industry into ethanol and further into jet fuel has won £410,000 (US$535,000) in funding from the UK Department of Transport’s Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

The group, including US ethanol producer LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic, steel producer ArcelorMittal and others, planned to use the funds to build the world’s first large-scale alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of the fuel in the UK, LanzaTech said on 4 July.

“This waste-to-jet fuel project has the potential to help transform the aviation industry by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the air quality around our country’s airports,” said UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

A separate Stage 2 Competition later in 2018, for which the group had also applied for, would provide funding for project implementation to successful award winners, LanzaTech said.

LanzaTech’s technology converts carbon dioxide and monoxide from off-gases into ethanol using special microbes. The resulting product can be used to manufacture diesel, petrol or jet fuel or as a precursor to plastics and polymers.