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Total and Amyris preparing to market jet fuel with 10% farnesane; direct sugar to hydrocarbons product

16 June 2014

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The D7566 committee is running a number of task forces on alternative fuels; the use of farnesane is one of those (red outline). Source: CAAFI. Click to enlarge.

With the release of the newly revised ASTM D7566-14 standard for jet fuel, Amyris and Total have begun to prepare to market a drop-in jet fuel that contains up to 10% blends of renewable farnesane. (Earlier post.)

The revised standard, developed by ASTM Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants, now includes the use of renewable farnesane as a blending component in jet fuels for commercial aviation. This latest version of ASTM D7566, Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons, will allow a biomass-based renewable jet fuel, as developed by Amyris and Total, to support the commercial airliners’ goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Faresane is one of the products explored by the D7566 task forces on alternative fuel pathways—in this case, the direct-sugar-to-hydrocarbons (DSHC) pathway.

Developed by Total, one of the world’s leading energy companies, and Amyris, an industrial bioscience company, this new jet fuel blend meets the performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry.

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The Direct Sugar to Hydrocarbon (DSHC) pathway directly produces hydrocarbons (farnesene molecules) that are upgraded in paraffins through hydroprocessing (Amyris/Total). A team including Total, Airbus, Air France and Safran performed a demonstration flight in June 2013 at the Paris Air Show using a 10% blend of such fuel with kerosene. (Earlier post.) Source: CAAFI. Click to enlarge.

Sugar can also be transformed into hydrocarbons through a catalytic process. This process, developed in particular by Virent, is also being considered by ASTM.

The ASTM standard involved an end-to-end evaluation program to verify and ensure that the renewable jet fuel product is compatible with aircraft and engine components and systems. In collaboration with key stakeholders of the aviation community, Amyris and Total conducted a thorough test program, from the investigation of key fuel properties to evaluation of performance at scale including multiple engine and flight tests.

This renewable fuel meets jet fuel strict specifications and bears favorable properties such as low freezing point, high thermostability and high net heat of combustion. The Brazilian fuels regulator, ANP, has indicated it will include this renewable fuel as an option among the other alternative aviation fuels already allowed in the national specification.

The ability of this renewable jet fuel to meet the criteria in the definitive standard for use in commercial aviation is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Amyris and Total. It unleashes the potential of our renewable jet fuel for the commercial aviation market. The introduction of our green fuel for the commercial aviation industry has the potential to lead to a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with strong performance.

—Philippe Boisseau, Member of the Executive Committee of Total, President of Marketing & Services and New Energies divisions

Conformance to ASTM D7566 enables us to advance our ongoing discussions with several of the major international airlines seeking to fly commercial flights with renewable fuels capable of reducing emissions and improving performance.

With our partner Total, we are paving the way for a new era for the aviation industry by providing a drop-in, low carbon jet fuel solution that will support the sustainability and environmental goals set by the industry without compromising performance. Achieving conformance to this standard in record time is a credit to the disruptive potential of our technology and the commitment of the global aviation industry to support innovative solutions.

—John Melo, President & Chief Executive Officer of Amyris

As part of their ongoing collaboration since 2011, Amyris and Total have also worked to ensure that the fuel be produced sustainably. Earlier this year, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB)’s certified Amyris’s first farnesene production facility in Brazil.

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June 16, 2014 in Aviation, Bio-hydrocarbons, Fuels | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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