One man’s trash could be the aviation industry’s treasure with researchers turning methane gas into jet fuel.

While landfill emissions are already captured for electricity generators, The University of Sydney researchers are turning the methane into “efuels”, such as diesel and jet.

Landfills globally major emitters of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 and methane.

UoS chemical engineer Professor PJ Cullen says the process is environmentally friendly and aims to reduce methane emissions, which contribute to 30 per cent of global warming since the industrial revolution.

“We have developed a process that would take these gases and convert them into fuels, targeting sectors that are difficult to electrify, like aviation,” Prof Cullen said.

“Our process creates a much more environmentally impactful and commercially valuable product,” Mr Cullen said.

Researchers caputred the emissions in pipes and wells and then used non-thermal plasma in reactors to refine the fuels.

While the research is promising, the cost of reactors makes the current model unfeasible, University of Sydney chemist Professor Thomas Maschmeyer says.

“The reactors that are needed for this are very, very large and cost close to $1b,” Prof Maschmeyer said.

To make the project more affordable and worth the investment, Prof Maschmeyer said reactors would need to be developed that were cheaper and more transportable.

Australia has recently signed the Global Methane Pledge with the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The pledge aims at reducing global methane emissions from 15.3 parts per billion in 2020 to 10.71 parts per billion in 2030, a 30 per cent decrease.

Prof Maschmeyer said the project was a small but important step in a more renewable future.

“It’s what we do every day, all the time as a species that makes a change,” Prof Maschmeyer said.

The global aviation industry aims to achieve net zero by 2050.