Avianca to trial alcohol-based jet fuel

Avianca will trial the new fuel in partnership with Byogy Renewables
Avianca will trial the new fuel in partnership with Byogy Renewables

Latin American airline Avianca Brasil is planning to use a new jet fuel derived from alcohol to power its aircraft.

The carrier has penned an agreement with Byogy Renewables to start testing the Byogy ‘Alcohol-To-Jet’ (ATJ) fuel. The main benefit of this type of biofuel, according to Byogy, is that it will be a full replacement fuel that does not require blending with traditional fossil fuels.

“Byogy’s jet fuel is not an additive, but instead, a full replacement standalone fuel, and hence can be used at any blend ratio up to 100%,” the company said, adding that the alcohol-derived fuel “demonstrates performance characteristics better than jet fuel produced from oil”.

“We believe that the increase in aviation demand will show that the only way to achieve the carbon reduction mandate, set out by the ICAO, is to use high blend ratios of renewable aviation fuel,” said Kevin Weiss, CEO of Byogy. “This is probably the most significant initiative in the aviation industry as it demonstrates the evolution to a full replacement, high quality renewable aviation fuel.”

The new jet fuel will use existing global stocks of ethanol, commonly use in the production of alcohol.

“At some point, we will wake up from this ethanol hangover and realise that it is more important to use alcohols to produce full replacement renewable aviation fuels than it is to push higher blends of alcohols into infrastructure that cannot support it,” Weiss added.

Byogy and Avianca will now work together towards gaining the necessary approvals for the new jet fuel, which the companies say will lower fuel consumption, reduce engine maintenance costs and benefit the environment.

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