Honeywell International (NASDAQ: HON) has found a way to turn biomass based feedstocks like soybean oil and used cooking oil into jet engine fuel.
On Wednesday, the company introduced its UOP eFining Technology, which produces low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
eFuels, also known as electrofuels, are synthetic fuels that can replace fossil fuels. They are produced by combining green hydrogen, which is generated using renewable energy and water in electrolyzers, with carbon dioxide to create eMethanol. This eMethanol can then be transformed into a variety of sustainable fuels such as eSAF, eGasoline, and eDiesel.
UOP eFining converts eMethanol to eSAF, a sustainable aviation fuel. This technology is specifically designed for methanol-to-jet fuel (MTJ) processing and can produce high-yield eSAF reliably and at scale, while being cost-effective in comparison to similar technologies. By using Honeywell UOP eFining, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by up to 88 per cent when compared to traditional jet fuel.
eSAF can also be blended with conventional jet fuel, making it a drop-in replacement that requires no modification to aircraft technology or fuel infrastructure.
“The ability to use readily abundant CO2 to produce SAF is a transformational opportunity for this market,” said Lucian Boldea, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies.
“Adding UOP eFining to our existing Ecofining and ethanol to jet technologies, Honeywell now offers multiple routes to market to meet the rapidly growing demand for renewable fuels including SAF.”
Read more: WestJet launches flight program with sustainable aviation fuel
Read more: The Mugglehead technology roundup: climate change fighters edition
Project aims to recycle 2 million tons of captured CO2
Honeywell is a major supplier of aircraft avionics, and they also provide auxiliary power units, which are small jet engines that power electrical and other systems on aircraft.
Fuel refiner, HIF Global, has become the first customer to sign a commercial agreement with Honeywell for the production of eSAF using the UOP eFining technology. HIF intends to use the eFining solution at its second commercial-scale eFuels facility in the United States. Once completed, this eSAF project is set to become the world’s largest facility for producing eSAF. The project aims to recycle around 2 million tons of captured CO2, with a projected output of approximately 11,000 barrels per day of eSAF by the year 2030.
The demand for sustainable aviation fuel is rising, with several governments and organizations announcing their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector. The Biden Administration in the United States, for instance, launched the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge in 2021, which aims to produce a minimum of three billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030 and reduce aviation emissions by 20 per cent. The goal is to eventually meet 100 per cent of U.S. aviation fuel demand with SAF by 2050.
In Europe, the ReFuelEU Aviation rules were released as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package. The rules aim to increase the minimum share of sustainable fuels at EU airports to 2 per cent by 2025, rising to 70 per cent by 2050, with a subtarget for eSAF of 1.2 per cent by 2030 and 35 per cent by 2050. These targets, alongside other incentives such as the Inflation Reduction Act, are designed to accelerate the commercialization of technologies like Honeywell UOP eFining to meet the growing demand for SAF.
Governments and organizations are aware of the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry, and they are taking steps to support the development and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel. Incentives and regulations such as those announced by the Biden Administration and the European Council provide a framework for the aviation fuel supply sector to produce more SAF and reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. The commercialization of innovative technologies like Honeywell UOP eFining will play a crucial role in meeting these targets and ensuring a sustainable future for air travel.
Honeywell shares rose 0.1 per cent on Wednesday to trade at $197.34.
Follow Joseph Morton on Twitter