Brazilian representatives from government agencies, universities and the private sector meet in Germany united by their commitment to enabling sustainable alternatives for fossil fuels

Carbon neutrality is increasingly consolidating to be the future of global aviation. However, to achieve the necessary technological innovations, it is essential to level and exchange practices and knowledge between countries. To this end, a Brazilian Technical Mission on Renewable Electrofuels for Aviation departed towards Germany. Between June 19 and 24, Brazilian representatives from government agencies, universities and private initiative, united by their commitment to enabling sustainable alternatives for fossil fuels, had the opportunity to meet with key stakeholders from both countries and interact on aerospace and alternative fuels.

The Mission was promoted by the project ProQR – Climate-neutral Alternative Fuels with the support of the H2Brasil initiative. Both projects are carried out by the German-Brazilian Cooperation for Sustainable Development, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI) and the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

Among the highlights of the visit´s schedule was the participation in the International Aviation Exhibition (ILA) 2022 in Berlin. The group also visited the first plant in the world to produce e-kerosene on an industrial scale, operated by the company Atmosfair, and engaged in dialogue with research institutes of excellence.

The delegation was composed of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Energy Research Company (EPE) and National Civil Aviation Secretariat (SAC), as well as the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), the National Industrial Education Service – Senai Institute of Innovation and Renewable Energies (SENAI ISI – ER), the German Aerospace Center (DRL), airport concessionaires (Fraport) and the Development Agency of the State of Ceará (ADECE).

During the Mission, Eduardo Soriano Lousada, Director of the Structuring Technologies Department at MCTI, pointed out:

“We are realizing this mission at a very dynamic moment in the Brazilian political scenery. Last week, for example, we launched a public call for companies to finance, among others, SAF projects on a larger scale. We are expecting major projects and take advantage of the exchange with the reference institutions in Germany at this time. On the other hand, we also have something to share, bringing our experience in the field of biofuels and their certification, for example.”

International Aviation Exhibition (ILA) 2022

At ILA, the ProQR project, in partnership with the Power-to-X-Hub, supported the “Shaping Sustainable Aviation” event on June 24. Presentations were held on the engagement, opportunities, and Brazilian pioneering on the topic of SAFs and the director of Biofuels of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Fábio Vinhado, participated in a panel on the book and claim supply system, a topic of extreme prominence in international discussions on how to develop an international market for alternative aerospace fuels.

The presence of the Mission at ILA enabled participants to get in touch with the future of aviation, in addition to being able to share Brazilian expertise with the world. ProQR will also be present at the PtX Hub stand at the Exhibition Fair (Aviation Hall 4, No.133. from 10 AM to 6 PM).

The ILA 2022 exhibition lasted from 22 to 26 June and took place at Berlin International Airport (BER), with more than 1000 exhibitors, who featured the most current aerospace technologies developed around the world. For the sectoral participants such as industries, space agencies, military, politicians and scientists in the field, ILA promoted a number of dialogue sessions. The general public was able to check out a large static display of aircraft, as well as air shows and an online program.

Technical visits in pilot plant and research institutions

In addition to the activities at ILA, the representatives had the opportunity to check the the first plant in the world to produce e-kerosene on an industrial scale. Located in the northern German city of Werlte, the plant is a venture of Atmosfair, a German non-profit organization that operates internationally in initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The visit was an excellent opportunity to see in operation the state-of-the-art technology used to produce SAF from renewable energy, CO2 and water. The participants also visited the premises of Fraunhofer IKTS, a specialized German association that is an international reference in the production of ceramic materials for industrial application, including SAF improvement processes. Also present were partners of the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, one of the oldest active higher education institutions and which has established itself as one of the world leaders in energy studies.

The journey ends with promises for the future

After this week of intense exchanges in Germany, the delegation returns to Brazil with broader perspectives for actions in favour of sustainable fuels and the future of aviation. Besides the possibility of partnerships between institutions of the two countries, the shared knowledge may positively impact initiatives already in progress. A good example is the statement of the director of ISI-ER and the regional department of SENAI-RN, Rodrigo Mello, on how the objectives of the Technical Mission are aligned with the actions of the Institute, which will host a pilot laboratory plant for the production of SAFs using glycerin as feedstock.

The ISI Internationalization Plan has guided many of our actions and one of them is precisely this exchange of experiences of Institute professionals visiting development centres and companies abroad. The mission to Germany involves this exchange and dissemination of knowledge from there to here and from here to there, focusing on the development of alternative fuels in progress at ISI, a pioneering project in Brazil. It is a fundamental solution for decarbonising air transport.

Ruth Barbosa and Vitoria Souza contributed to this article.

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