Green employer reaching for the sky with aircraft expansion plans

A British biofuel company is developing the technology to power jets, potentially boosting the UK's employment market.

Firms such as Gloucestershire-based Green Fuels are powering jobs in the green sector. The company already provides the biofuel for the Royal Train.

In addition, it made the waste wine-derived fuel for the vintage Aston Martin driven by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day.

Now, its research division is diversifying into fuelling planes.

Chief executive James Hygate said there is currently no efficient and sustainable alternative to established aviation fuel.

But Mr Hygate, who used to run his own car on the fat from pork scratchings, claimed: "You can make biofuel from anything."

Green Fuels, which was awarded a royal warrant in January, is already a leading producer of biodiesel production equipment.

Mr Hygate, who founded the firm 10 years ago, said that mineral fuels are diminishing and planes are not going to be operated on batteries in the near future.

He said: "There are currently no other options for air-crafts other than liquid fuel so if it's going to be sustainable it's got to be biofuel."

Green Fuels is one of 16 British companies selected for the Clean and Cool trade mission to Colorado, US.

Mr Hygate wants to identify and meet potential research partners and investors on the week-long trip to Colorado.

He said Green Fuels has a bench-top process which it needs to scale up for commercialisation.

Mr Hygate added: "We're now looking for funding to get from the research side so we can go on to have a demonstration plant producing this fuel."

Green Fuels, whose HQ is in Stonehouse, near Gloucester, sells processors to make biodiesel.

These range from 50-litre plants suitable for chip shops to those that produce 20,000 litres a day for firms such as McDonald's.

The hamburger giant employs the technology to change its used cooking oil into biofuel for its outlets in Australia and Dubai.

The Royal Train has been fuelled by biodiesel extracted from waste cooking oil since 2007.

A project with the Prison Service has additionally resulted in over 50 UK prisons using the firm's equipment to recycle waste cooking oil from their kitchens into biofuel for prison vehicles.

Copyright Press Association 2013