Agave could provide fuel for jet planesBy Melita Kiely
Agave, the plant used to create Tequila, could soon be used to fuel jets as a result of a strategic partnership aimed at producing low-cost sugars for the production of renewable energy.
Biofuels organisation Byogy Renewables has invested in a strategic partnership with AusAgave Australia to develop numerous feedstocks and low-cost sugars that will be used to produce renewable fuels and chemicals.
Don Chambers, CEO of AusAgave, will join forces with the team at Byogy to push overall global feedstock operations, with the potential of merging both companies at a later date, T and L News reported.
According to Byogy, feedstock costs account for more than 65% of fuels’ final cost, with difficult capital and management problems, such as the necessity to acquire and manage approximately 200,000 acres of farmland to support a 50 million gallon aviation biofuels plant with feedstock such as corn yields.
Agave has the potential to produce ethanol yields of 10,000 litres per hectare per year, substantially more than sugarcane and with twice the sugar content.
Byogy claims AusAgave’s latest harvest results already show the production of low-cost sugars allowing Byogy’s technology “to produce cost competitive gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and a suite of chemicals at or below that of petroleum products without infrastructure modification, blending, or government subsidies”.
Chambers said: “The results of our recent harvesting programme have already proven our efforts to substantially increase sugar yields and decrease delivered sugar costs for select agave species, and we fully expect to continue decreasing sugar costs over the next few years.”
In January, scientists predicted Agave would become a cost-effective way of making biofuel to power vehicles.