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Amyris to enter partnership to supply renewable jet fuel from sugar to GOL Airlines

An overview of the direct sugar to hydrocarbon (DSHC) process for the production of renewable jet fuel. Source: Amyris. Click to enlarge.

Renewable fuels and chemicals company Amyris, Inc. and GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, signed a memorandum of understanding that could pave the way for GOL commercial flights to use Amyris renewable jet fuel in 2014. The anticipated partnership was announced during the first commercial flight with a renewable jet fuel in Brazil by the airline earlier today.

Under the memorandum of understanding, GOL and Amyris will work together to establish a framework for bringing Amyris renewable jet fuel produced from Brazilian sugarcane (direct sugar to hydrocarbon pathway, DSHC) to GOL’s commercial flights following regulatory approvals and validation by standard-setting bodies, including ASTM International and Brazil’s Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP).

Amyris has been involved in an R&D program with Total since 2010, one focus of which has been the development of renewable aviation fuel using the DSHC pathway. (Earlier post.) Amyris and Total initiated the process of consideration by ASTM of the DSHC pathway in June 2011.

Lifecycle analysis indicates that the Amyris renewable jet fuel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more when compared to conventional fossil-derived jet fuel. Amyris has applied for certification under the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and is a member of Bonsucro, the world’s leading sugarcane sustainability standard.

We are committed to working with the aviation industry to bring cleaner skies, starting in Brazil in 2014. Following two successful demonstration flights and a series of successful tests with multiple industry stakeholders, we look forward to receiving ASTM validation and ANP approval of our breakthrough renewable jet fuel produced from Brazilian sugarcane.

—John Melo, Amyris’ President & CEO

Amyris uses its industrial synthetic biology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of molecules; Amyris’s initial portfolio of commercial products is based on Biofene, Amyris’ brand of the renewable sesquiterpene (C15) farnesene, a long-chain hydrocarbon. This can be subsequently upgraded to diesel or jet fuel, among other products.

Amyris operates a production facility, located adjacent to the Paraíso sugarcane mill in Brotas, São Paulo in Brazil, to convert sugars into a renewable hydrocarbon, farnesene, which can be processed into a drop-in renewable jet fuel compliant with Jet A/A-1 specifications following regulatory and industry approvals.

In September, GOL participated in the launch of the Céus Verdes do Brasil Project (“Brazilian Green Skies” in Portuguese), which aims to improve the efficiency of Brazilian airspace.

The Amyris-GOL partnership, under of auspices of the Brazilian Biofuels Platform, an industry and government-supported initiative to encourage the use of renewable fuels in aviation, was announced at Brazilian Aviation Day celebration.



Meanwhile, over 800,000,000 people do not have enough (food/sugar) to eat and many children are dying from starvation. Something has gone wrong somewhere?

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