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Byogy and Avianca launch initiative to accelerate approval of Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel

Byogy’s four-step process for the conversion of ethanol to renewable jet fuel. Click to enlarge.

Byogy Renewables and airline partner Avianca Brasil (earlier post) have launched an initiative to support advanced testing to accelerate the approval by ASTM of Byogy’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel. (Earlier post.) The Avianca/Byogy Team will perform advanced Flight Testing using the CFM-56 powered A319 to acquire test data and support an Environmental Impact Study to drive ASTM adoption of Byogy’s ATJ fuel.

Byogy’s proprietary ATJ process converts ethanol to a full replacement renewable jet fuel that does not require blending, and also demonstrates performance characteristics better than jet fuel produced from oil. Byogy’s jet fuel is not an additive, but instead, a full replacement standalone fuel, and hence can be used at any blend ratio up to 100%, the company says.

Bio-isobutanol producer Gevo, Inc. also recently came to an agreement with Lufthansa under which the carrier will evaluate Gevo’s renewable jet fuel with the goal of approving the alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) for commercial aviation use. (Earlier post.)

The ATJ process broadly consists of four main steps: dehydration of the alcohol; oligomerization; distillation; and hydrogenation. Byogy’s patent-pending catalytic four-step process leverages a global exclusive license that Byogy obtained from Synfuels International Inc., a Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) technology provider, covering the entire global “bio” space. Byogy’s core technology started with a combination of biofuels processes that originated at Texas A&M University and expanded with an R&D and process integration effort. (Earlier post.)

Although initially targeting the use of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, the Byogy process will convert any source of ethanol, butanol, mixed alcohols, or related olefins, into full replacement, and cost competitive biofuels including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Our goal with our partner Avianca is to first, support the approval of the ATJ suite of process technologies in accordance with current regulations that limit blending to 50%, and then, after gaining appropriate experience testing data, work with the ASTM stakeholders to study the potential use of higher blend ratios that will in turn drive the highest level of carbon reduction possible of any renewable fuel.Kevin Weiss, CEO of Byogy

The initiative will also study to validate the significant beneficial environmental impact achieved using Byogy’s ATJ to satisfy the proposed ICAO 2050 Neutral Carbon Growth mandate for the country of Brazil by leveraging the existing, and abundant sugar cane feedstock, as opposed to waiting for years before other agriculture feedstock industries are proven cost effective.

Avianca is fully committed to supporting the Byogy ATJ fuel approval process and believes it is the best solution for Avianca to achieve carbon neutrality for its operations in Brazil.

—Captain Norberto Raniero, Vice President of Operations at Avianca


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