Biogas-to-SAF: Copersucar, Geo bio gas&carbon collaborate for Brazilian market

Combining Copersucar’s scale in the sugarcane-energy sector with Geo’s expertise in biogas/biomethane production technology, the agreement intends to enable large-scale SAF production in Brazil in the coming years.

Brazilian sugar & ethanol major Copersucar and biofuels company Geo bio gas&carbon have announced the signing of an MoU with the aim of developing technology for converting biogas into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Combining Copersucar’s scale in the sugarcane-energy sector with Geo’s expertise in biogas/biomethane production technology, the agreement intends to enable large-scale SAF production in Brazil in the coming years, utilizing a new production route alongside ethanol (known as alcohol-to-jet – ATJ).

As part of the partnership, the companies will build a commercial pilot plant expected to begin operation in 2025. The SAF production project from biogas/biomethane will employ the gas-to-liquid (GTL) route using Fischer-Tropsch technology, a chemical process for producing green liquid hydrocarbons from synthesis gas.

“The SAF produced from biogas/biomethane is a high-value product with a low carbon footprint, further expanding the use of sugarcane as a renewable energy source. This partnership could represent a new growth avenue for the Copersucar ecosystem, aligned with our strategy to provide scalable solutions for energy transition,” commented Tomás Manzano, Copersucar’s CEO.

Alessandro Gardemann, CEO of Geo, emphasized that “biogas production routes from organic waste are crucial to positioning Brazil as a producer and exporter of advanced fuels with added value. This makes the country competitive in decarbonizing both the Brazilian air transport matrix and demanding international markets such as Europe. Our plant will be born with the foundations ready to rapidly elevate production to an industrial scale level.”

A recent report indicates that sustainable aviation fuel mandates in Brazil have drawn investors to the local market. The lower house of Brazil’s National Congress recently approved the “Fuels of the Future” Bill, which sets higher blending requirements for ethanol and biodiesel. Additionally, the bill introduces a new mandate for biomethane, green diesel or renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Brazil.

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