Amyris' innovative bioscience technology directly converts plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules to create the renewable fuel, and the technology enables the operations of the Amyris-Total partnership to deliver the fuel from "field to wing."

Amyris-Total Renewable Jet Fuel

Fernando Garcia | Amyris Inc.

What does the development of the Amyris-Total renewable jet fuel represent for the industry at large?

The global aviation industry has committed to aggressive goals to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; looking to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020 and to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2005. Because the Amyris-Total renewable jet fuel does not require changes to the existing infrastructure and aircraft operation with its use, it enables the aviation industry to reach a meaningful reduction of emissions without additional investment in fueling equipment.

​Can you tell us a bit about the ingredients and processes that make this fuel qualify as renewable? Is the renewable jet fuel currently available in market?

Amyris’ innovative bioscience technology directly converts plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules to create the renewable fuel, and the technology enables the operations of the Amyris-Total partnership to deliver the fuel from “field to wing.”

Our state-of-the-art strain engineering makes yeast that converts plant sugars into the hydrocarbon farnesene, rather than ethanol. Farnesene can then be hydrogenated to farnesane, a renewable drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel and a blend-stock for jet fuel.

The Amyris-Total renewable jet fuel is currently available in-market, with commercial production capabilities, industry validation and a proven process that ensure sustainability into the future.  The manufacturing process has obtained RSB sustainability certification.

What airlines have flown using this renewable jet fuel thus far?

The fuel has already been used on Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircrafts in demonstration flights with Azul and Etihad Airways and in initial commercial flights with GOL, Lufthansa, Air France and KLM. In 2014, Amyris received confirmation of conformance to ASTM D7566, the newly revised ASTM standard for Jet A and Jet A-1 blended fuels providing a parallel confirmation to ASTM D1655 petroleum fuel standard.  Additionally, at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, KLM announced their intent to explore collaboration with Amyris and Total to begin flying with renewable jet fuel.

What are the distinguishing factors of the Amyris-Total renewable fuel?

Amyris and Total are helping usher in a new era in the aviation industry by providing a low-carbon fuel that will ideally serve the sustainability and environmental goals set by the industry. It is an approved, renewable fuel that is drop-in ready and can be blended directly with petroleum Jet A and Jet A-1 fuels without any changes to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure.

Initial studies show that farnesane can reduce GHG emissions by as much as 80% when compared with fossil Jet A/A1.

The Amyris-Total renewable fuel can be used in up to 10% blends with Jet A/A-1 commercial aviation turbine fuels without a change to the aircraft’s engine or fueling system. At this percent blend, studies show a 3% reduction in particulate matter emissions from the engines. This means less air pollution near airports and results in better overall air quality in large metropolitan areas.

How does the cost compare with conventional jet fuel and how much will this come down as production ramps up?

The Amyris-Total renewable jet fuel is priced as a premium blending component, in line with the added benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while blending easily with Jet A/A-1 commercial aviation fuel.  As production further streamlines and demand for farnesane increases, the goal is to see renewable jet fuel achieve pricing parity with fossil fuels for airlines.

What does Amyris receiving approval by Brazil’s fuels regulator, ANP mean for commercialization efforts?

Building on the revised ASTM International standard for aviation turbine fuel approved in June, Brazil's ANP approval removed the last regulatory hurdle for the use of this renewable jet fuel in Brazil. The fuel meets the most rigorous performance requirements in the aviation industry and it is now being commercialized in Brazil, as well as around the world.

Now that this last regulatory hurdle has been removed, Amyris will work with partners in Brazil and around the region to increase market adoption. Amyris has already received substantial interest from potential partner airlines in Brazil, and those conversations are expected to continue in 2015.

What are Amyris’ plans for expansion in 2015?

The company’s products are already positively impacting the environment for hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide, and aims to see that number grow in 2015. This year, Amyris will continue to transform industries through product innovation and superior performance.

In addition to increasing the number of commercial aviation partners in its portfolio, Amyris will expand its stake in the cosmetics industry through Neossance Hemisqualane. An innovative, renewable ingredient, Neossance Hemisqualane is a pure, plant-derived, light emollient with high spreadability and proven performance characteristics.

Amyris will also continue to grow its product cleaning line by leveraging the sustainably sourced and environmentally advantageous solvent, MyraleneTM. MyraleneTM will help Amyris deliver a product line that exhibits superior performance relative to the leading commercial cleaners currently available in market, yet is environmentally friendly.


Fernando Garcia is Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs at Amyris Inc. 

Amyris delivers high-performance renewable products across a wide range of consumer and industry segments. Our products offer customers a way to reduce environmental impact with No Compromise® in performance or availability.

We developed innovative microbial engineering and screening technologies that modify the way microorganisms process sugars. With our innovative bioscience technology and established fermentation processes, we convert plant-sourced sugars into renewable molecules for multiple applications.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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