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Transforming the biodiesel industry to meet Europe’s need for sustainable aviation fuel: business feasibility study, technical validation and real-world demonstration

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SABRE (Transforming the biodiesel industry to meet Europe’s need for sustainable aviation fuel: business feasibility study, technical validation and real-world demonstration)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

GFR’s has developed a new process for producing renewable aviation fuel from waste cooking oil, animal fat residues or other waste bio-oils, starting from a transesterification step, which is the process currently used by biodiesel manufacturer to produce Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), that is 1st generation biodiesel. GFR wishes to demonstrate the technical suitability of using the GFR Biojet in jet fuel (Jet A/A-1), in terms of compliance with ASTM D7566 and demonstrating acceptable performance of both biojet and final blends by analysis at laboratory and at demonstration scale. To this aim a sub-commercial scale demonstration facility will be implemented during the Phase 2 of the SME Instrument project.
Strategic Marketing was carried out through interviews to biodiesel producers and airlines, to assess the value of the GFR offering to individual biodiesel producers, including information on the ideal size of the plant scale, operability and other factors based on offtaker and feedstock provider requirements and ‘into wing’ cost analysis. Feasibility of the process scale-up was evaluated: the proposed plant design was analysed with definition of its production cost. The quality certifications requirements based on the existing regulatory framework and sustainability certifications for the marketing of the final product were studied. The European biodiesel market was studied, analyzing the market size, trends and evolution, existing overcapacity and market constraints, with a specific analysis on 5 main target countries. The business models were analyzed to carry out the exploitation of GFR’s solution; cost and pricing of the product were refined and the Financial Model to go to market was identified, also according to present existing incentive schemes in EU and US. Sales and revenues hypothesis were refined, including a sensitivity analysis taking into consideration variations of external factors.
GFR’s is a flexible, scalable and low capital intensity alternative to HEFA process, which is currently the leading process for producing renewable jet fuel: capital expenditure of the GFR plant will be around 0.075 €/litre/year against, which is 85% less capital intensive than HEFA; integration downstream existing biodiesel facilities allows to add value to existing biodiesel facilities which are currently facing reduction of production and large overcapacity; use of existing facilities and infrastructures, with low cost of entry to biojet and simplified permitting process.