Bangchak Kicks off Ethanol Project for Low Carbon Jet Fuel

Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited (BCP) joins hands with National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) to pioneer production of sustainable bio-based aviation fuel, aka SAF, which helps reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. The project also aims to build on knowledge from national research bases towards the goal of Net Zero.

Mr. Chaiwat Kovavisarach, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited., announced that the company, the BBGI Public Company Limited, the NRCT and Rajamangala University of Technology Isan had already signed a cooperation agreement on the green innovation project to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from ethanol, which would later enable development of a new type of low carbon fuel.

This project, based on knowledge from the research, Biofuel production from fusel alcohol obtained from ethanol plants”, done in 2020 by the Rajamangala University of Technology Isan under the NRCT’s support, aims to add more values to ethanol from changes to gasohol. It can be further developed into high-value products in SAF production and helps to promote biofuel supply chain networks. Also, it will meet the growing demand for SAF to support the sustainability of the global aviation industry, hence available for the transition to green energy.

The ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement on the green innovation project to produce sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol for development of low carbon fuel on 24 July 2022

Nevertheless, as an energy transition leader that set a Net Zero emissions target by 2050, with the first major goal being Carbon Neutral by 2030, Bangchak is committed to increasing the share of biofuels instead of fossil fuels to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere caused especially by the transport sector. Bangchak has continuously developed biofuels for use in land transportation.

“Today is a good occasion to bring knowledge from research in the country for production to develop SAF. It not only reduces CO emissions by up to 80% over the entire product lifecycle compared to conventional jet fuel, but it is also known for its high quality suitable for the Royal Air Force’s fighter jet,” said Mr. Chaiwat.

Chief Executive Officer and President, BBGI Public Company Limited, Mr. Kittiphong Limsuwanrot explained that further study from this research was another important opportunity to promote and drive bio-products in the country for higher values. From raw materials in the agricultural sector that are abundant, the products can be developed into a low-carbon fuel that has immense benefits for the aviation industry. This SAF production know-how contains fusel alcohol, a by-product from the ethanol refining process as a raw material. The BBGI has a production and distribution plant for biodiesel and ethanol. With a biodiesel plant with a total production capacity of 1 million liters per day and an ethanol plant with a total production capacity of 600,000 liters of ethanol per day, the plant is equipped with full expertise and potential and is ready to support this research to add value from the ethanol production process and support green energy innovation, thus being a part to achieve Net Zero goals on behalf of Bangchak Corp.

The Director of NRCT Dr. Wipharat Dee-ong added that the research, “Biofuel production from fusel alcohol obtained from ethanol plants”, was successful in terms of lab scale on biofuel production to be used in aviation. It is a high-quality fuel from the raw material called “Fusel” of the ethanol factory with raw materials from sugar cane, cassava and slag. All of them are considered a cash crop under the promotion of government policies. In addition, the research is in line with the strategy of mobilizing Thailand with the BCG (Bio-Circular-Green Economy) economic model on which the country is focusing and giving importance to the development of its economy.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khosit Sriphuthon, the Rector of Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, concluded that the project was one of the technology and innovation development projects of Rajamangala University of Technology Isan that had received a budget from the NRCT. It focuses on using products made by fermentation of agricultural raw materials to convert to higher value SAF oil, besides increasing the use of renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, on which all over the world are focusing due to the problem of climate change. It will also promote technology upgrading, create green innovations for the industrial sector, and serve as a good platform for government agencies to help drive research and innovation in the business sector.