Moraes Marcia

Jet Biofuels in Brazil
Sustainability Challenges
17th ICABR Conference
Ravello (Italy): June 18-21, 2013
Marcia A F Dias de Moraes
Jet Biofuels in Brazil
Sustainability Challenges
This research was conducted under the project named “Sustainable
Aviation Biofuels for Brazil”, an initiative of Boeing and Embraer
companies and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
This research aims:
-to enhance the discussion on sustainability of biofuels for aviation
-to identify the main gaps existent in Brazil to meet the requirements
of the most known sustainability criteria
- Sustainability assessment has been growing in importance in recent
years, in a scenario including the need for reduction of greenhouse
gases emissions, the food versus fuel debate, and the increasing need
to respect environmental and social standards.
Jet Biofuels
Aviation Industry Targets
(Source: Flight Path to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil: Action Plan, 2013).
Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Brazil
 The project is a research roadmap to address the challenges of
implementing a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Brazil
 Identifying locally available non-fossil fuel sources is critical for
continued growth and prosperity of the aviation industry
 The roadmapping methodology implemented was aimed at
reaching a consensus among the stakeholders on action plan
priorities in order to promote the use of sustainable biofuels for
 Stakeholders: airlines, existing aviation fuel producers, potential
alternative fuel suppliers, biomass experts, non-governmental
organizations, Government agencies
Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Brazil
 We used workshops to stimulate the discussions among the
 The project team conducted eight workshops across Brazil,
including São Paulo, Piracicaba, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais
and Brasilia, with active participation of over 30 Stakeholders
encompassing the entire prospective aviation biofuel supply
chain, including industry, agriculture, government, NGOs and
 Roadmap objectives: comprehensive national gap analysis to
identify sustainability gaps, existing and needed policies;
infrastructure needs; know-how ; feedstocks availability; and
technological routes to shift some portion of future biofuels
production in Brazil towards aviation needs.
Jet Biofuels
Critical Issues
 Drop in fuel:
 meet all the key properties of petroleum derived aviation fuel
(flash point, cold temperature performance, etc)
 mixed with conventional jet fuel, can use the same supply
 do not require adaptation of aircraft or engines
 Specification for biofuels drop-in is ASTM D4054.
 Must reduce GHG emissions
 Food versus fuel debate
 Production of jet biofuel fuel can not impact food supply
 Environmental impacts
 shall control loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, soil and water
 Jet biofuels must be compliant with sustainability criteria
Why Brazil?
 The most promising potential feedstock for jet biofuel are plants that
contain sugars, starch, and oil, as well as residues such as
lignocellulose, municipal solid wastes, and industrial waste residues
 The availability of feedstock for biofuels, in terms of both production
quantities and diverse sources, is not a major concern in Brazil (CGEE,
2012; Goldemberg, 2008; Goldemberg et al. 2008; Nassar et al, 2011)
 Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane , second of
soybeans and has the lowest production cost of eucalyptus;
 Brazil can competitively produce the above listed classes of
feedstock, which could be used to start a jet biofuel industry in
the country.
 In addition, sugarcane and eucalyptus can be produced with a very
significant life-cycle reduction of CO2
(Source: Flight Path to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil: Action Plan, 2013)
Why Brazil?
 Most of the crops in Brazil are rain-fed and do not require
 The extensive territory has areas of temperate, subtropical and
tropical climates, which allow the cultivation of different crops
suitable for jet biofuel
 ILUC and food versus fuel are the two most relevant indirect
effects raised as concerns in the biofuels debate
 Evidence in Brazil shows that the agricultural sector has been
able to meet the increasing demand of both food and energy
 Brazil uses sugarcane ethanol as fuel for more than 40 years
(Source: Flight Path to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil: Action Plan, 2013)
Food versus Fuel
Evidences indicate that the expansion of cane ethanol in Brazil have not
undermined food production:
(i) Brazilian agriculture is facing a process of intensification and efficiency gains
with increasing yields in crops and livestock;
(ii) there still is a lot of space for intensifying cattle production in Brazil:
- Technical yields, such as slaughter age, calves’birth rate and meat
produced per hectare are still low in Brazil
(iii) Brazil has developed a double-cropping system allowing the integration of
soybean and corn in the same year;
(iv) the cultivation of oilseeds in rotation with sugarcane is also generating food
and fuel in the same systems;
(iv) deforestation has been reduced since 2004
(v) the expansion of sugarcane for ethanol, although very strong, has not
undermined the expansion of other annual and perennial crops
 Therefore, rather than food-versus-fuel, the reality in Brazil shows a foodand-fuel situation;
(Source: Flight Path to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil: Action Plan, 2013)
Brazilian Legislation
Brazilian laws are quite strict to protect natural resources, water
and biodiversity
The Brazilian Forest Code is among the most restrictive
legislation on land use.
 It establishes that at least 25% of the land of individual farms (80% in
the Amazon region) be set aside under Legal Reserve in order to
preserve natural resources, water sources, biodiversity, and shelter for
the native fauna and vegetation.
 Stretches of land along water bodies as well as those with slopes above
45° are Areas of Permanent Preservation and cannot legally be
Labor laws are equally severe
Evolution of Production and of
Sustainability Workshop
To stimulate the discussions on sustainability aspects with the
stakeholders of the broader research project
The sustainability
requirement will have
positive or negative
impacts on the
Business Plan the
economic agents have
The sustainability
requirement will have
positive or negative
impacts on the level of
commercial risks the
economic agents
operate today?
How difficult it is to be
compliant (or keep
being compliant) with
each sustainability
The sustainability
requirement will have
positive or negative
impacts on the level of
technical risks the
economic agents
operate today?
Overall Evaluation of the degree of
difficulty to meet the requirement
Neutral or irrelevant or not applicable
Easily compliant
Compliant with only few difficulties
Compliant with great difficulties
Very hard to be compliant
Knowledge gaps
Major knowledge gaps identified during SABB Project:
 Lack of data on costs of jet biofuels since there is
no production scale in Brazil
 Methodologies for calculating ILUC and GHG
emissions: widespread discussions on
methodologies for calculation and variation across
countries and processes
Final Considerations
 Food vs. Fuel debate: in Brazil, there is enough land to produce
food and biofuels
 Social sphere: high potential for job creation, income generation
and regional development
 Environmental: the main potential positive impact generated by
compliance with sustainability requirements is GHG emissions
reductions compared to fossil fuels, especially in the sucrose and
cellulose groups (although there are still some difficulties with
calculations and data for some feedstocks)
Final Considerations
(aspects common to all groups of feedstocks)
 Need for a clear price policy for biofuels (including bio jet fuels)
in order to make the production economically sustainable and to
attract private investments and to promote the use of jet
 Development of protocols and standard methodologies for GHG
and ILUC calculations
 Harmonization of sustainability standards among themselves:
minimization of conflicts and promotion of more sustainable
Final Considerations
 Complying with legality principles of sustainability standards is
regarded as challenging, in some circumstances:
 Great number of rules and laws, sometimes conflicting and
more strict than sustainability requirements;
 Lack of knowledge on how to apply some laws/rules;
 Adaptation of laws to rural context (especially labor laws)
 Legal uncertainty (e.g. recent changes in the forest code)
 Scale: small and independent producers have even more
difficulty to comply (compliance with sustainability standards
requires investments, which may be a barrier for smaller
 In addition, the extensive Brazilian territory makes it more
difficult to enforce some laws in some states
Thanks for your attention
Feel free to contact