Boeing (NYSE: BA), Embraer (NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: EMBR3), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced that they will jointly fund a sustainability analysis of producing renewable jet fuel sourced from Brazilian sugarcane. The groundbreaking study will evaluate environmental and market conditions associated with the use of renewable jet fuel produced by Amyris (NASDAQ: AMRS). World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will serve as an independent reviewer and advisor.
“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.”
Last month, the IDB announced a regional cooperation grant to help public and private institutions develop a sustainable biojet 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, and independently reviewed by WWF. 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. 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. This project also expands upon existing collaboration between Amyris, the State Government of Queensland, and Boeing.”
“Last month, ASTM International created a task force to establish product specifications for direct sugar-to-hydrocarbon renewable jet fuels, such as that being developed by Amyris. We are committed not only to delivering on the technical specifications for our jet fuel but also to ensuring that our renewable products are produced sustainably,” said John Melo, CEO of Amyris. “Our planet derives no benefit from a fuel that merely replaces current fossil fuels. This study will help us replace fossil fuels with a renewable jet fuel that surpasses both technical and sustainability criteria.”
“Participation in this important study is one more step for Embraer to support the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation,” said Guilherme de Almeida Freire, Embraer Director, Environmental Strategy and Technology. “Brazil is a rich source of biomass, and the maturation of this technology, based on sugarcane, reinforces the importance that the Nation gives to the sustainable growth of aviation.”
“Climate change is threatening biodiversity and the critical habitats of some the world’s most iconic species,” said Kevin Ogorzalek, Program Officer at World Wildlife Fund. “As renewable jet fuel production increases, it must be done in a transparent and sustainable way. We’re eager to contribute to this study as one part of a growing international effort to reduce the fast-growing emissions from aviation and protect the critical resources on which we all depend.”
The Boeing Company builds some of the most environmentally progressive airplanes in the world and directly contributes to making commercial aviation among the most fuel-efficient modes of transportation. Boeing is working collaboratively with industry, academia and governments to further reduce the industry’s environmental footprint through technology solutions such as air traffic modernization and commercializing low-carbon sustainable biofuel for aviation. For more information please visit www.newairplane.com.
Embraer S.A. is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Embraer’s headquarters are located in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, China, France, Portugal, Singapore, and the United States. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft and systems for the commercial aviation, executive aviation, and defense and security segments. It also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. On June 30, 2011, Embraer had a workforce of 17,194 employees – not counting the employees of its partially owned subsidiaries – and its firm order backlog totaled USD 15.8 billion.
About Inter-American Development Bank
The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.More information about the IDB is available at www.iadb.org.
About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change.
Amyris is an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. Amyris uses its industrial synthetic biology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules – flexible building blocks that can be used in a wide range of products. Amyris is commercializing these products both as No Compromise® renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, polymers, lubricants and consumer products, and also as No Compromise renewable diesel and jet fuel. Amyris Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees the establishment and expansion of Amyris’s production in Brazil. Amyris also has fuel distribution capabilities in the United States through its subsidiary, Amyris Fuels, LLC.
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Source: Boeing, press release, 2011-07-26.