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Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG to collaborate on ASTM-certification of bio-isobutene feedstock and conversion for sustainable aviation fuel

Global Bioenergies (GBE), the company developing a process converting renewable resources into isobutene via fermentation (earlier post), and SkyNRG, world market leader in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), will collaborate to accelerate the commercialization of Global Bioenergies’ approach to process isobutene into a jet fuel blending component.

The companies will work towards the aviation industry’s approval allowing addition of Global Bioenergies’ isobutene-based SAF into ASTM D7566, the predominant jet fuel specification used by the industry, thereby enabling commercial use as quickly as possible.

The first batches of the bio-isobutene-based SAF were produced by Global Bioenergies in Leuna (Germany) and sent to SkyNRG for preliminary analysis, laying the basis for Tier 1 of the ASTM evaluation process.

The evaluation process includes up to 4 stages from Tier 1 up to Tier 4 (as described in ASTM Standard Practice D4054).

Tier 1 tests consist of the analysis of physical and chemical properties of the fuel, such as: composition, volatility (distillation curve and density), fluidity (freezing point and viscosity), net heat of combustion, corrosion and thermal stability.

The SAF batches mainly consist of C12 iso-paraffins with very good cold-flow properties, high octane and an energy content in the jet fuel range. The targeted C12 iso-paraffin molecules are the same as those present in conventional jet fuel.

The product was obtained through oligomerization and hydrogenation of bio-isobutene. Both the pure product as well as a blend with fossil-based kerosene will be evaluated. Global Bioenergies’ high-quality SAF can be produced from forestry or agricultural wastes.

Jet fuel is the fastest developing segment in oil products, growing at a pace of 4-5% per year. This industry will rely on sustainable aviation fuel for a crucial contribution to reduce its carbon footprint. After having shown last week the reality of renewable gasoline in a first car on the road event with our partner Audi [earlier post], we will soon show that our sustainable aviation fuel has a unique potential to concretely decarbonize the skies.

—Marc Delcourt, Chief Executive Officer at Global Bioenergies

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