RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Gevo receives Queensland W2B funding to produce sustainable jet fuel

SOURCE: Jordan Sanchez/Unsplash
The project will produce fuel and food while offsetting carbon emissions.


By U2B Staff 

Read all stories


Renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company Gevo was recently awarded part of The Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund to support biorefinery projects in the region. 

The W2B fund is a state government initiative to provide targeted funding for pilot, demonstration or commercially scalable biorefinery projects in Queensland that use conventional waste streams or biomass to produce bioenergy, biofuels, and high-value bioproducts. 

YOU MIGHT LIKE

“We are thrilled to be awarded funding from W2B, which will allow us to further our assessment of a contemplated second-generation (2G) feedstock to biofuel project in Queensland. Queensland is rich in renewable biomass resources and has expressed the desire to invest in the future of biofuels,” said Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber. 

“This opportunity opens the door for the development of a project that not only supplies low carbon gasoline to Queensland, but also the possibility to supply commercial quantities of 2G sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to the Brisbane Airport, expanding upon our demonstrations of SAF supply to commercial airlines like those conducted with Virgin Australia over the last several months.” 

This is a follow-up of a project in June last year where Gevo supplied the renewable fuel used in Virgin Australia’s trial of sustainable aviation fuel at Brisbane Airport.

The company is also collaborating with the Queensland University of Technology to turn the state’s sugarcane and wood waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). 

Gevo
The project will elevate Queensland’s biofuel sector. Source: Jose Lebron/Unsplash. 

The Minister for State Development Cameron Dick spoke at the Bio-Based Aviation and Marine Fuels Summit in Gladstone, Queensland on how this partnership will have the potential to bring even more business to Queensland as the demand for biofuels continue to grow. 

“In addition to offering environmental benefits by reducing the carbon footprint of plane travel, this project will also help position Queensland as a world-leading location for investment in the manufacture and distribution of this fuel in the global bioproducts and services market,” he said.  

“Gevo’s participation in the successful sustainable aviation fuel trial at the Brisbane Airport led to Queensland being considered as the location for the company’s first biorefinery outside of the United States. Having the ability to turn our agriculture waste into sustainable fuel means more jobs in agriculture and biofutures across our regions.” 

Gevo will evaluate the most likely second-generation biomass to carbohydrate conversion process to use in conjunction with its existing proven carbohydrate to low carbon biofuel process. 

YOU MIGHT LIKE

Currently, Gevo fractionates grain from sustainably produced crops to produce protein and animal feed while using the remaining carbohydrate portion of the grain for fermentation to produce isobutanol at its US-based facility in Luverne, Minnesota. 

The isobutanol is then chemically transformed using a hydrocarbon processing facility into renewable gasoline, diesel and SAF that meets standardised specifications for aviation turbine fuel. 

The SAF made through this process has very low sulfur, particulates, and a slightly higher energy density than petroleum-based jet fuel. 

Additionally, for every gallon of renewable hydrocarbons produce such as this SAF, Gevo also produces approximately 10 pounds of protein that goes into the food supply chain. This also results in converting up to two pounds of carbon dioxide as carbon back into the soil. 

This makes the overall product one of the only renewable jet fuels to produce both food and fuel while offsetting carbon dioxide and lowering greenhouse gas emissions as compared to traditional fossil-based jet fuel.