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Brazilian airline GOL to make first international commercial flights with newly approved Amyris-Total drop-in biofuel

Amyris has partnered with Brazilian airline GOL to begin the first international commercial route with a drop-in renewable jet fuel (farnesane) blend developed by Amyris and Total (earlier post). On 15 June, ASTM revised its jet fuel standard, paving the way for airlines to use Synthesized Iso-Paraffin (SIP) farnesane as a jet fuel component in commercial airlines globally.

GOL has committed to fly its Boeing 737 fleet with up to a 10% blend of the renewable fuel on its US to Brazil routes starting with initial flights later this month. Supported by Boeing, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other partners, Amyris is working to bring this new, renewable jet fuel to commercial airlines starting with Brazil's GOL Airlines.

When produced sustainably, farnesane can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 80% on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional petroleum fuels.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, industry studies have shown that farnesane reduces particulate matter emissions by 3%, reducing pollution near airports and major metropolitan areas. This renewable jet fuel, which is made in Brazil from sugarcane, can be up to 30% more efficient in land use compared to other renewable fuels (by liters/hectare) and it could become approximately 70% more efficient than such fuels when new technologies, like sugar from cellulosic feedstocks, become commercially available.

The global aviation industry has committed to achieving carbon neutral growth by 2020 and reducing emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2005. In addition to improving the efficiency of airplanes and flight operations, sustainable aviation biofuel represents a major opportunity for commercial aviation to reduce emissions. Approved renewable jet fuels are drop-in and can be blended directly with petroleum jet fuel without any changes to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure.

The revised standard, D7566, 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 in blends of up to 10%. 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.

Prior to the SIP approval, annexes had been approved for Hydroproccessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA-SPK) and Fischer-Tropsch (FTH-SPK) synthetic fuel blends.


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