Global Bioenergies relies on biomass to decarbonize air transport

Global Bioenergies is now focused on the production of isobutene for the cosmetics industry and for sustainable aviation fuels. The start-up aims to open a new plant in 2025 to produce 2,000 tons per year and fund a site dedicated to sustainable aviation fuels by 2028.
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Global Bioenergies has started producing isobutene in its pilot plant in Champagne. This molecule does not exist naturally and is produced from sugars coming from beet residues, wood chips or downgraded cereals. This process reduces CO2 emissions by two-thirds.

The production process of isobutene

Global Bioenergies CEO Marc Delcourt explains that isobutene is produced by feeding sugars to bacteria reprogrammed to produce the molecule. “You can do a lot of things with isobutene,” he adds. When the molecules are attached two by two, they give isooctane used for road vehicles. When they are attached three by three, they give isododecane, which is the basis for the formulation of aviation kerosene.

Global Bioenergies’ ambition

Founded in 2008, Global Bioenergies’ initial goal was to produce sustainable road fuels. However, the fall in oil prices caused this ambition to be abandoned. Today, the company is focusing on the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), but the necessary investments of 150 million euros are currently out of reach. In order to reach critical size, the start-up is focusing on the production of isobutene for the cosmetics industry. The giant of the sector, L’Oréal, now owns 13.5% of the company.


Cosmetic production

Global Bioenergies produces isobutene, purifies it by removing its CO2 and packages it in gaseous form. This gas is then transformed into isododecane sold to the cosmetics industry. The start-up also created its own brand of lipstick and mascara, Last. Its Pomacle plant has a production capacity of 15 to 20 tons per year and allows to start the commercial market. The next goal is to open a new plant in 2025 to produce 2,000 tons per year and finance a dedicated sustainable aviation fuel site by 2028.


The airline industry is under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint, and sustainable aviation fuels are seen as the key decarbonization lever for the coming decades. Global Bioenergies has an important role to play in this transition to more sustainable aviation by producing isobutene from renewable sources.

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