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Byogy commissions ‘Alcohol to Jet’ demo plant in Japan

US-headed advanced biofuels closed-loop technology platform developer Byogy Renewables Inc. (Byogy), has announced that it ihas built and is commissioning one of the world's largest 'Alcohol to Jet' demonstration facilities converting cellulosic bioethanol into full replacement sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel in Japan.

US-headed advanced biofuels closed-loop technology platform developer Byogy Renewables Inc. (Byogy), has built and is commissioning one of the world’s largest ‘Alcohol to Jet’ demonstration facilities converting cellulosic bioethanol into full replacement sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel in Japan (photo courtesy Byogy).

Byogy is a leading technology provider for the production of premium grade, full replacement, renewable fuels. The Byogy ATJ technology is a unique integration of proven petrochemical processes using traditional catalytic chemistry and standard commercial equipment that converts any form of ethanol, or butanol, into low carbon transportation biofuels.

By combining renewable energy inputs with internal co-product energy production, Byogy is advancing the already proven ATJ platform to target premium grade “Power Fuels” with a long-term plan to ultimately deliver a Net Zero-Carbon, Zero-Blend closed-loop process.

Once approved for use, a Zero-Blend fuel, produced with renewable energy, can potentially achieve the greatest reduction of fossil carbon emissions than what can be achieved using synthetic liquid hydrocarbon blendstock products.

ATJ demo plant

Formed in Tokyo in 2006, Biomaterial in Tokyo Co., Ltd (BITS) is a technology company that uses cellulosic sugars as the foundation for developing and expanding advanced biotechnology solutions.

In early 2019, BITS selected the Byogy ATJ technology to advance the local production of SAF under a Japanese government sponsorship through its New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

BITS is joined on the project with Sanyu Plant Service Co., Ltd as a joint business partner for local construction and operations.

We are very pleased to be working side by side with the seasoned team at Byogy on this important demonstration project supported by NEDO. With cellulose being the most abundant organic compound on earth, we believe that a sugar-based feedstock, combined with the proven Byogy ethanol reforming process, can lead the industry with significant volumes of price-competitive renewable fuel, said Yoshiya Izumi, President of Biomaterial in Tokyo.

With the production of second-generation cellulosic bio-ethanol from locally sourced non-food plant material becoming more urgent, BITS has developed proprietary technology providing solutions for cellulosic bio-ethanol production.

Ethanol can easily be produced from many sugar and starch feedstocks in addition to waste streams. Since the Byogy process can use any source of ethanol, countries that have the ability to produce it from sugarcane, corn, grains, cellulosic biomass, cassava, and agaves, can all use our technology. The process can scale across the global ethanol supply chain with small decentralized plants or larger centralized operations, thereby having a real potential to make the largest diversified contribution to the global SAF supply chain, said Kevin Weiss, CEO of Byogy Renewables.

For this project, Byogy partnered with Petron Scientech providing front-end ethanol dehydration processing technology and Optimation Technology of Rochester, New York (NY), which provided the fabrication, automation, instrumentation, and controls for the Byogy system.

Leveraging the global ethanol supply chain and linking it to the existing downstream petroleum infrastructure has been the basis of our strategy from the start. We are now extremely excited to integrate our ethanol conversion technology with BITS cellulosic ethanol production under a NEDO sponsorship, leading the way to commercial production of Byogy`s low carbon ATJ SAF in Japan by 2025, said Kevin Weiss.

One of few producers

Validated after two years of engine testing by Rolls Royce in the United States (US) under a selective Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) sponsored program, Byogy is one of the first producers of a premium grade full replacement SAF that, with future regulatory approvals, may not require any blending with fossil-based fuel for use in existing aircraft or related fuel infrastructure.

Although current jet fuel specifications limit synthetic blending components to 50 percent or less, it is reasonable to foresee a path to adopting full replacement fuels, such as Byogy’s, to eventually be used at higher blends achieving greater carbon reductions.

Byogy was an original member of the task force to develop a global alternative fuel specification under ASTM International for ATJ. In 2018, ASTM added ethanol as an approved feedstock under the previously adopted ATJ specification D7566 Annex 5, which was the trigger that allowed Byogy to commercialize its technology today, as it continues to push for fully synthetic use in the future.

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