Biofuel consortium BE-Basic joined forces with Brazil to develop aviation fuel (kerosene) from waste streams and biomass. A memorandum of understanding was signed in the Brazilian State Minas Gerais last week.

BE-Basic is now an official partner in the biokerosene platform that was founded last March by the Brazilian State, aviation companies, agriculture producers and research institutes. From the Netherlands, KLM and bio-kerosene producer SkyNRG have joint the partnership as well.

The memorandum states that the partnership will stimulate the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation over the entire production chain: not only feedstock and production technologies, but also increasing public awareness and demand.

One of the objectives is the consolidation of a so-called bioport (a local production facility) in Minas Gerais modelled after the recently opened Bioport Holland at the Rotterdam harbour (Tweede Maasvlakte). This facility aims to supply 1 percent of KLM's fuel need next year and then ramp up production to 1 million tonnes of bio jet fuel by 2020.

Bioport Holland takes oils and fats as feedstock and partly converts these into jet fuel by treating them with hydrogen followed by cracking. In Brazil the alcohol to jet pathway makes more sense. In this process alcohol molecules are ripped of their OH-groups, glued together (in a process called olligomerization) and subsequently distilled and saturated with hydrogen.

The driving force behind bio jet fuel is the commitment of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to grow carbon neutral until 2020 and achieve a 50-percent reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses by 2050.