Sugar-based jet fuel studied

Sugarcane prior to processing, courtesy of Rufino Uribe via Wikimedia Commons.

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 28 (UPI) -- Boeing, Embraer and the Inter-American Development Bank will fund a sustainability analysis of making renewable jet fuel from Brazilian sugarcane.

The groundbreaking study will evaluate environmental and market conditions associated with the use of renewable jet fuel produced by Amyris, a U.S. renewable products company with a Brazilian subsidiary.


World Wildlife Fund will serve as an independent reviewer and adviser.

"Emerging renewable jet fuel technologies have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, as sugarcane ethanol in Brazil has already proven," said Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, leader of the IDB Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Initiative. "This study will examine the overall potential for sustainable, large-scale production of alternative jet fuels made from sugarcane."

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Last month, the IDB announced a regional cooperation grant to help public and private institutions develop a sustainable bio-jet fuels industry.

The Amyris study is the first to be financed under that grant.

The study will be led by ICONE, a research think tank in Brazil with extensive experience in agriculture and biofuels analysis. Scheduled for completion in early 2012, the study will include a complete lifecycle analysis of the emissions associated with Amyris's renewable jet fuel, including indirect land use change and effects.

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In addition, the study will include benchmarking of cane-derived renewable jet fuel against major sustainability standards, including the Bonsucro, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels and the IDB Biofuel Scorecard.

"Collaborative research into the cane-to-jet pathway is important for diversifying aviation's fuel supplies, and also builds on the strong renewable energy cooperation established between the Unites States and Brazil," said Boeing Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy Billy Glover.

"With aviation biofuel now approved for use in commercial jetliners, understanding and ensuring the sustainability of sources that can feed into region supply chains is critical and Brazil has a strong role to play there."

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