Emeryville, California – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially registered a renewable diesel fuel produced by California-based Amyris, the first time a hydrocarbon-based fuel made from plant-derived resources has been registered for commercial sale.
Third-party testing indicates that the fuel, which is blended with petroleum diesel, overcomes a number of challenges facing current biofuels, including the ability to blend with petroleum diesel at much higher levels without causing performance issues, good performance at extremely low temperatures, easy distribution through the existing fuels infrastructure, and compliance with American Society for Testing Materials specifications for petroleum diesel fuels. The fuel contains no sulphur and virtually no harmful aromatics, and when blended with petroleum diesel, it results in significantly less particulate matter, NOx, hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide emissions when compared with petroleum fuels.
“This is a landmark day for Amyris and the renewable fuels industry,” said John Melo, Amyris CEO. “Registration of our diesel fuel demonstrates the enormous progress made toward reducing the world’s carbon footprint. We are producing the perfect renewable fuel, a fuel that eliminates the obstacles plaguing current biofuels while still enabling dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.”
The fuel is made using the emerging science of synthetic biology, altering the metabolic pathways of microorganisms such as yeast to engineer “living factories” that transform sugar into any one of 50,000 different molecules used in a wide variety of energy, pharmaceutical, and chemical applications. Amyris is working on the development and commercialization of several of these molecules to provide a range of renewable products, including diesel fuel, jet fuel and specialty chemicals.