Biokerosene from Total & Amyris, innovation for responsible performance

Total is committed to developing new energies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to solar, bioenergy is a strategic development focus for the Group, which is involved in ambitious research programs with innovative start-ups, such as the California-based company Amyris.
Together, Total and Amyris are innovating for the future of aviation and developing a renewable jet fuel that significantly reduces CO2 emissions. 

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    The Total and Amyris team conducts research at the Emeryville laboratory in California where they test the performance and resistance of yeasts during fermentation.

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    Large-scale production of farnesane began in 2013 at the first Amyris refinery, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. In the background, the sugar fermentation silos.

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    At the Paris Air Show in June 2013, Airbus, Air France, Safran and Total organized the maiden flight in Europe of a plane using the bio jet fuel developed by Total and Amyris.

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    In January 2014, Etihad Airways and partners Boeing, Total, Takreer and the Masdar Institute organized the first demonstration flight in the Middle East at Abu Dhabi International Airport, using a Boeing 777 powered by Total/Amyris biokerosene.

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    In September 2014, Lufthansa made its first commercial flight between Frankfurt and Berlin using the certified biokerosene developed by Total and Amyris.

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    Toulouse Blagnac Airport in France.
    Between October 2014 and January 2015, weekly flights operated by Air France’s “Lab’Line for the Future” connected passengers from Toulouse and Paris using jet biofuel developed by Total and Amyris

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    Kamel is an aircraft refueler at Toulouse Blagnac Airport in France.
    Here he is refueling Air France's Lab'Line for the Future flight with the biokerosene developed by Total and Amyris.

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    May 2016: In partnership with Air France, Total and Amyris fueled 23 Nice-Paris flights for the Cannes Film Festival.

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Total & Amyris: A Cutting-Edge Biotech Partnership

Since 2010, Total has been working with Amyris, a U.S.-based company that specializes in biotechnology and the development of renewable products for fuels and green chemistry. As part of this partnership, Total holds a stake in Amyris and maintains an extensive research and development collaboration agreement.
Their research enabled the teams to develop a procedure for converting sugar into farnesane, Amyris's building block molecule that can be incorporated directly into diesel or aviation fuels and requires no technical modifications to engines. Initially produced in Brazil in a plant certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), farnesane can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%1 compared with fossil fuels.
 

A Breakthrough Solution for Airlines

To combat climate change, the airline industry has committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.2 Given continued growth in global air transportation, this ambitious aim will require improvements in the performance of aircraft and engines, on the ground and in flight, and the increasing use of aviation biofuels.

Total and its partner Amyris have developed a practical solution, a biokerosene containing 10% farnesane. This blend cuts CO2 emissions by 5% and particulate matter emissions from engines by 3%.

In June 2014, after two years of tests and numerous demonstration flights, the biofuel developed by Total and Amyris was certified by the ASTM International,3 an international organization that specifies standards and properties. Now that the Total-Amyris renewable jet fuel has been included in global industry specifications, the two companies have been able to begin marketing this breakthrough solution to airlines around the world.

The first commercial flights using the biokerosene developed by Total and Amyris started in mid-2014 in flights operated by GOL in the Americas and Lufthansa in Europe. Between October 2014 and January 2015, aviation biofuel was used on regular flights: in France, for example, Air France's “Lab'Line for the Future” project included weekly service on its Toulouse-Paris route. In 2015, farnesane was labeled Total Ecosolution,4 proof of its eco-performance. In 2016, Total and Amyris fueled 23 Nice-Paris flights with biofuel for the Cannes Film Festival and is supplying several of Cathay Pacific’s Toulouse-Hong Kong flights to deliver the Airbus A350 planes it ordered from the French aircraft manufacturer.

Towards A Competitive Biofuel Available Everywhere

To expand the marketing effort for aviation biofuels, Total is drawing on the operational excellence of its subsidiary Air Total International. With 11 million tons sold annually, Total is a world leader in the distribution of jet fuels. Operating in 300 airports in over 70 countries and a market leader in Europe and Africa, Air Total International is contributing all its technical and logistical expertise to the commercial development of this new biokerosene.

The large-scale adoption of biofuels by airlines remains a challenge for the coming years. Total and Amyris are making their solutions more competitive and sustainable. The more long-term goal is to produce biokerosene from “cellulosic” sugars, extracted from the non-food part of plants. In partnership with innovative companies, Total is building on progress made to date in helping to make more sustainable aviation fuels accessible on a global scale.

1 Environmental Science & Technology Study, November 2014
2 Compared with 2005 levels (source ATAG 2009)
3 ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
4 Leveraging innovation to provide continuous improvement, the Total Ecosolutions program is aimed at developing products and services to help our customers — both businesses and consumers — to reduce their environmental footprint

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