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Renewable jet fuel evaluation project

Nov. 18, 2009, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Embraer, General Electric, and Amyris announced the signing, today, of a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate the technical and sustainability aspects of Amyris’ No CompromiseTM renewable jet fuel.


November 18, 2009
By Administrator

Nov. 18, 2009, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Embraer, General Electric, and Amyris announced the signing, today, of a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate the technical and sustainability aspects of Amyris’ No CompromiseTM renewable jet fuel.

The initiative can culminate in a demo flight, by early 2012, of an Embraer E-Jet using GE engines and belonging to Azul Linhas Aéreas.

This collaboration combines industry leadership in airframe and engine manufacturing, a new and committed airline, and next-generation jet fuel development and production. The goal is to accelerate the introduction of a renewable jet fuel that could significantly lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and provide a long-term sustainable alternative to petroleum-derived jet fuel.

“Greening the skies is a rather complex subject and requires broad industry expertise and commitment,” says Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO. “The partnership with top-level players will certainly represent an important step towards this endeavor.”

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Amyris’ renewable jet fuel is a promising alternative to the conventional petroleum-derived jet fuel. It is made from existing sugar cane feedstock, and is positioned to bring supply security, renewable content, price stability, and significant reductions in GHG emissions to the jet fuel pool. “This is a great innovating step by the airline industry in the fight against global warming,” says David Neeleman, Chairman of the Brazilian airline Azul.

The new fuel has already undergone previous testing conducted by the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, GE Aviation, and other industry participants.

“GE is committed to develop and produce the most fuel efficient and environmentally
friendly jet engines for the airlines, worldwide,” says Chuck Nugent, General Manager of GE Aviation Small Commercial Engines. “However, much additional work is required in other areas, in order to achieve greener skies. This partnership reinforces GE’s commitment.”

The Brazilian government (via Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos – FINEP) is already contributing funding to Amyris’ renewable jet fuel development program. Brazil has the world’s largest crop of sugar cane and associated expertise in ethanol production, which constitutes important leverage for developing Amyris renewable jet fuel.

Amyris produces its renewable fuel using the emerging science of synthetic biology. By altering the metabolic pathways of microorganisms, such as yeast, Amyris is able to engineer “living factories” that transform sugar into a range of renewable products, including diesel fuel, jet fuel, and performance chemicals.

“This is a landmark project for air travel,” said Amyris CEO John Melo. “It demonstrates that a united industry can usher in an era of cleaner air travel, while using sustainable resources.”