Sugar High: Total, Amyris, Airbus complete sugar-based renewable jet fuel flight at Paris Air Show

June 21, 2013 |

Amyris-Total renewable jet fuel, and biofene

The Amyris-Total renewable fuel was produced using engineered microorganisms that convert plant sugars into Biofene, Amyris’s brand of renewable farnesene, a long-chain, branched hydrocarbon.

In December 2012, Amyris began commercial production of Biofene at its industrial-scale production facility in southeastern Brazil. Amyris and Total expect the fuel to be commercially available as early as 2014, following approval by the ASTM International, the world’s leading fuel standard setting body.

amyris-technology

The story goes back to 2009, from the point of view of test flights, when Embraer and General Electric announced that they would conduct a test flight using renewable jet fuel produced from sugar cane by Amyris Biotechnologies. The ERJ-190/-195 test flight was operated by Azul Linhas Aereas, using sugarcane as a feedstock.

“That initiative has the enthusiastic support of Azul’s  founder and CEO David Neeleman and the Brazilian Government,” said Tom Casey of ACA Associates at the time, “especially as the demonstration involves an Embraer commercial airplane, flying with a Brazilian airline and using a Brazil-sourced bio jet fuel from sugarcane feedstock.”
Next steps for Total and Amyris

As a result of the continued success of Amyris’s existing technology collaboration with Total, the two parties intend to form a joint venture company by mid-2013 to market renewable diesel, jet fuel, and other specialty products derived from Biofene, Amyris’s renewable brand of farnesene.

Last August, Total reaffirmed its commitment to Amyris’s technology and dedicated its $82 million funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Biofene, Amyris’s renewable farnesene, for production of renewable diesel and jet fuel. Total’s commitment includes a $30 million payment to Amyris in 2012.

Total and Renewable Fuels

The Total Group holds a 66% stake in SunPower, a world leader in solar energy, and an 18.5% stake in Amyris, an integrated renewable products company. Additionally, Total is actively engaged in a number of renewable R&D projects, such as solar and biomass.

In today’s Digest, we look in-depth at reaction from the partners, plus a networking and knowledge-sharing opportunity with Amyris CEO John Melo via the page links below.

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