Amyris has partnered with Brazilian airline GOL to fly the industry’s first commercial flight with sugarcane-derived farnesane, the recently approved renewable jet fuel. (Earlier post.) The first flight, GOL flight 7725, departed from Orlando, Florida on 30 July 2014 and traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
On 15 June, ASTM revised its jet fuel standard, paving the way for airlines to use Synthesized Iso-Paraffin (SIP) farnesane (generically, Direct Sugar to Hydrocarbon, DSHC) as a jet fuel component in commercial airlines globally. 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%.
Earlier this month, GOL committed to fly its Boeing 737 fleet with up to a 10% blend of the renewable farnesane fuel starting with this initial flight. Farnesane can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% compared to petroleum fuels. When blended with Jet A/A1 fuel at 10%, farnesane can also reduce particulate matter emissions, decreasing pollution near airports and major metropolitan areas.
The global aviation industry has committed to aggressive goals to reduce its GHG emissions, including 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, this renewable biofuel represents a major opportunity for commercial aviation to reduce emissions.
The approved renewable jet fuel is drop-in and can be blended directly with petroleum jet fuel without any changes to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure. Amyris will now begin to quantitatively measure the positive impact to GHG emissions and air quality with every flight using the renewable jet fuel.