Sao Paulo, Brazil – A new plan was announced yesterday to commercialize advanced renewable fuels made from sugarcane, including diesel, jet fuel and gasoline. It is a joint venture of California-based Amyris, an innovator of next-generation renewable fuels, and Crystalsev, one of Brazil’s largest ethanol distributors and marketers. The first product, a renewable diesel that works in current engines, is targeted for commercialization in 2010.
Scale-up and testing work done to date indicate that this fuel scales more quickly and economically than currently-available biofuels, and reduces emissions by 80 per cent over petroleum diesel.
The new joint venture, Amyris-Crystalsev Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento de Biocombustiveis Ltda, will work with Brazilian sugarcane mills and fuel producers to quickly scale production of the fuel. Amyris will hold the majority stake, with Crystalsev holding the remaining stake and contributing commercialization expertise. Santelisa Vale, the second-largest ethanol and sugar producer in Brazil and majority owner of Crystalsev, has contracted to provide two million tons of sugarcane-crushing capacity and plans to adopt the new technology, beginning at its flagship mill. The venture plans to bring other sugar producers into the fold as it launches its diesel fuel and progresses on new products.
Unlike current biofuels, Amyris renewable fuels are designed to meet or exceed the quality of existing petroleum fuels, and be fully compatible with existing fuel infrastructure and engines. Amyris-Crsytalsev plans to market the fuels worldwide, with initial focus on Brazil and the United States.