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Total, Amyris biojet fuel ready for use in commercial aviation

By Amyris Inc. | June 16, 2014

With the newly revised ASTM standard for jet fuel, Amyris and Total have begun to prepare to market a drop-in jet fuel that contains up to 10 percent blends of renewable farnesane.

Developed by Total, one of the world's leading energy companies, and Amyris, an industrial bioscience company, this new jet fuel blend meets the rigorous performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry.

“The ability of this renewable jet fuel to meet the criteria in the definitive standard for use in commercial aviation is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Amyris and Total,” said Philippe Boisseau, member of the executive committee of Total, president of marketing and services and new energies divisions. “It unleashes the potential of our renewable jet fuel for the commercial aviation market. The introduction of our green fuel for the commercial aviation industry has the potential to lead to a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with strong performance. As one of the world's biggest suppliers of aviation fuel, one of Total's objectives is to make breakthrough jet fuel solutions widely available to its airline customers, supporting their quest to meet high sustainability objectives.”

The revised standard 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. This latest version of ASTM D7566, Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons, will allow a biomass-based renewable jet fuel, as developed by Amyris and Total, to support the commercial airliners' goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Conformance to ASTM D7566 enables us to advance our ongoing discussions with several of the major international airlines seeking to fly commercial flights with renewable fuels capable of reducing emissions and improving performance,” said John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris. “With our partner Total, we are paving the way for a new era for the aviation industry by providing a drop-in, low carbon jet fuel solution that will support the sustainability and environmental goals set by the industry without compromising performance. Achieving conformance to this standard in record time is a credit to the disruptive potential of our technology and the commitment of the global aviation industry to support innovative solutions.”

The ASTM standard involved an end-to-end evaluation program to verify and ensure that the renewable jet fuel product is compatible with aircraft and engine components and systems. In collaboration with key stakeholders of the aviation community, Amyris and Total conducted a thorough test program, from the investigation of key fuel properties to evaluation of performance at scale including multiple engine and flight tests. This renewable fuel meets jet fuel strict specifications and bears favorable properties such as low freezing point, high thermostability and high net heat of combustion. The Brazilian fuels regulator, ANP, has indicated it will include this renewable fuel as an option among the other alternative aviation fuels already allowed in the national specification.

As part of their ongoing collaboration since 2011, Amyris and Total have also worked to ensure that the fuel be produced sustainably. Earlier this year, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certified Amyris’ first farnesene production facility in Brazil.

 

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