SPOTLIGHT | Enabling 100% Drop-in SAF With Lower Particulate Matter Emissions

By Virent | August 24, 2023

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the Virent team continues to advance its core technology—the BioForming® process—which converts plant sugars into renewable gasoline, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel and the chemical building blocks for 100% renewable and recyclable plastics, fibers and films.

The BioForming® process is similar to traditional petroleum refining, except that it has been specifically designed to refine renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, using proprietary catalysts as well as pressures and temperatures common in refineries.  Because the BioForming® process uses plant-based feedstocks derived from carbon currently in the atmosphere as opposed to carbon from below the ground, it can help reduce the amount of new carbon being introduced into the environment. “These low-carbon products can be processed in existing refining and petrochemical infrastructure, making them 100% drop-in replacements for petroleum-based products,” says Dave Kettner, president and general counsel of Virent. “Our main fuel products are renewable gasoline and synthesized aromatic kerosene (SAK) jet fuel. Virent’s BioForm® SAK enables 100% SAF without having to blend with traditional jet fuel. To date, our BioForm® SAK has been used in demonstration flights by United Airlines, Gulfstream, Emirates and Bell Helicopter.”

Virent and Johnson Matthey, a global leader in process technologies, have combined their skills and expertise to develop and bring to market a world-leading, scalable biobased catalytic technology to reduce the carbon footprint of everyday fuels and chemicals.

Virent’s BioForming® Sugars to Aromatics (S2A) technology is ready for commercialization, and together with Johnson Matthey, the company is working to optimize the process and catalysts that can create 100% sustainable fuels and chemicals, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.  “It is our mission to help meet the world's growing demand for sustainable products,” Kettner adds. “The demonstration flights we’ve helped fuel are great examples of how we’re meeting today’s energy needs while investing in a sustainable, energy-diverse future.”