The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially registered Amyris’s renewable diesel fuel, making it the first time a hydrocarbon-based fuel made from plant-derived resources (earlier post) has been registered for commercial sale.
Amyris engineers new metabolic pathways in industrial microbes (bacteria or yeast) to produce a large range of molecules (isoprenoids) used in energy, pharmaceutical, and chemical applications via fermentation of sugar from plant-based feedstocks. The end product can be a “drop-in” hydrocarbon fuel. The renewable diesel project uses a modified yeast.
Third-party testing indicates that Amyris renewable diesel fuel, which is blended with petroleum diesel, overcomes a number of the challenges facing current biofuels:
Unlike biodiesel and ethanol, Amyris renewable diesel is a hydrocarbon—the same component found in today’s petroleum fuels—enabling it to blend with petroleum diesel at much higher levels than typical biofuels without causing performance issues.
Amyris renewable diesel works well at extremely low temperatures without having to alter engines and can be easily distributed within the existing fuels infrastructure.
Amyris renewable diesel blended with petroleum diesel fully complies with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D-975 specifications for petroleum diesel fuels.
Amyris renewable diesel contains zero sulfur and virtually no harmful aromatics, and when blended with petroleum diesel it results in significantly less particulate matter, NOx, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions than petroleum fuels.
Amyris is working on the development and commercialization of a range of renewable products, including diesel fuel, jet fuel and specialty chemicals.