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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Your Breath Could Be Recycled into Fuel

By Lori Brown

The Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in Liverpool, U.K., will soon become the world's first to try a revolutionary piece of technology that will recycle the breath of passengers into biofuel.

The Eco-box, developed by Origo Industries, will capture the CO2 exhaled by airport travelers and convert it to fuel to be used in the airport's diesel vehicles and heating system.

The Eco-box was originally designed to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. It works by capturing carbon emissions through a photo-bioreactor as a feedstock for algae, producing biomass that is then refined and converted to green fuel.

"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," said Iain Houston, Origo's CEO and founder.

Installation of the carbon recycling system began in January, with a goal of harnessing 24,000 gallons of fuel from the pilot program, as well as providing heating and hot water to the airport. The company hopes to expand to a 289,000 gallon system following the trial, providing approximately 800 gallons of biofuel each day.

Origo Industries, which aims to revolutionize industries in response to the challenge of climate change, may also look into using the technology to produce aviation grade biofuel in the future, a hot topic in the aviation industry as of late. The full cost of the trial was not disclosed, but Origo indicated the project would likely deliver a return on investment within one year's time.

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