Gevo set to turn Queensland sugar cane waste into SAF
Gevo will collaborate with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to turn Queensland sugar cane waste and wood waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the Queensland government announced yesterday.
The Colorado-based renewables and biofuels company recently supplied the SAF used in Virgin Australia’s biojet fuel trials at Brisbane Airport (BNE), completed last June. As a result of the trial, biojet fuel has now been used to fuel 195 domestic and international flights departing from BNE, traveling across Australia and around the globe.
Its success at Brisbane led Gevo to consider Queensland as the location for its first biorefinery outside of the United States, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Patrick Gruber. Gevo intends to invest in the future of biofuels in Queensland, with Gruber citing the country’s rich renewable biomass resources.
Using data from those trials and a $159,000 grant from the Palaszczuk Government’s $5 million Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund, Gevo will now undertake a research project to test the viability of a jet fuel made with Queensland sugar cane and wood waste feedstock.
“This project is an opportunity to further leverage QUT’s expertise in scaling and commercializing industrial bioprocesses,” said QUT Professor Robert Speight.
A Gevo SAF refinery in Australia would benefit airlines like Australia’s Qantas, which late last year announced its intentions to reach zero carbon emission by 2050 in an expansion of its commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry.