GOL and partners created a platform to merge the expertise of every sector of the sustainable alternative aviation fuel value chain. The result is a “from research to fly” integrated value chain that will reforest the São Francisco River Basin, create local employment, and make commercial biofuels.

The Plataforma Mineira de Bioquerosene e Renováveis was launched in 2013 with the support of airlines, major aircraft manufacturers, prestigious regional research institutions and industrial and agricultural federations.

The goal of this platform was to bring together key stakeholders from every part of the value chain, to take renewable fuel from research through to commercial production. Stages to be evaluated included production, processing, location and transport.  The outcome of this forum was a streamlined, ethical and ingenious value chain, comprising:

  • Processing:  Thermal catalytic conversion to be used for cracking (the process of breaking down hydrocarbons). This process does not require high pressure vessels, since it uses patented thermal cracking with an activated carbon catalyst derived from the macaúba coconut, avoiding costly hydrogen which is more commonly used for cracking carbon chains.
  • Location and transport: The biorefinery site was selected to be close to Belo Horizonte Airport, reducing logistics costs to the airport. Neat and blend certification facilities at a fuel laboratory close to the airport will further enhance the competiveness of the process.
  • Production: Choosing the native macaúba palm in the reforestation of the São Francisco River Basin will improve water production capacity of this hydrobasin, absorb CO2, offer employment to local family farmers, produce sustainable biomass for the biorefinery and boost the local economy.