Ian Houston who designed technology to capture Co2 emissions from passengers & recycle it into Biodiesel at Liverpool John Lennon airport. Image 2
LIVERPOOL John Lennon Airport is the world’s first airport to trial a revolutionary machine that will convert the breath of passengers into biofuel.
A pioneering piece of kit called the Eco-box will be able to capture CO² exhaled by travellers for recycling into fuel to be used in the airport’s diesel vehicles and heating system.
Origo Industries, based at Daresbury Laboratory science and innovation campus near Warrington, has devised a technique to feed captured emissions to algae, to produce a biomass cake that can be converted into green fuel.
Origo’s founder and chief executive, Ian Houston, first hit on the idea of the Eco-box as a way of reducing carbon emissions from his own gas-guzzling Mitsubishi Shogun.
The former Army ballistics expert says the applications are limitless.
"The project at the airport is an early trial of a system which we believe could have a significant impact on the way companies today can obtain fuel and manage carbon emissions.
"If it works there, then why not anywhere? Forward-thinking companies like John Lennon Airport realise that mitigating an environmental impact and saving money can go hand in hand."
Installation will begin in the next few weeks and Origo hopes the system will provide up to 250 litres of biofuel a day.
If the trial proves successful, a larger system could be installed that could potentially generate as much as 3,000 litres of biofuel every day. The costs of the trial have not been disclosed, but Origo claims the initial investment could be repaid within a year.
Mr Houston has taken technolo- gies that are already available and pieced them together to create an on-site recycling process – something no-one else has done.
"Liverpool John Lennon is committed to being at the forefront of technology and to reducing the environmental impact of air travel wherever practical," said Andrew Dutton, the airport’s head of environment.
"We are extremely interested in both current and potential future technical options and initiatives that could help to mitigate our environmental impact.
"Origo’s carbon capture and recycling technology is potentially a huge step in the right direction for the airport and the environment."
The airport has previously planted trees to try and offset CO2 emissions.
Mr Houston has had support from The Mersey Partnership and the city council.
Cllr Berni Turner, executive member for the environment, said of the Eco-box plan: "This is an exciting first for Liverpool in the city’s year of the environment.
"We know airports are part of the big debate about emissions so I’m delighted to see Liverpool John Lennon Airport taking a lead on this issue."
HMP Liverpool at Walton is also believed to be considering installing an Eco-box.