Earlier this month Honeywell announced a new, innovative ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology that allows producers to convert corn-based, cellulosic, or sugar-based ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Depending on the type of ethanol feedstock used, jet fuel produced from Honeywell’s ethanol-to-jet fuel process can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.
Although demand for SAF continues to grow, the aviation industry is still challenged by limited supplies of traditional SAF feedstocks. Ethanol offers a widely available, economically viable feedstock. Honeywell’s new technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel.
According to a 2021 life-cycle analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, ethanol-to-jet fuel conversion combined with other technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCUS) and smart farming practices, can result in negative GHG emissions compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.
“Honeywell pioneered SAF production with its Ecofining technology, and our new ethanol-to-jet fuel process builds on that original innovation to support the global aviation sector’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions and meet SAF production targets with an abundant feedstock like ethanol,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “Honeywell’s ethanol- to-jet process, when used as a standalone or when coupled with Honeywell carbon capture technology, is ready now to provide a pathway to lower carbon-intensity SAF.”
SAF plants using Honeywell’s technology can be modularized off site, resulting in lower installed costs and faster, less labor-intensive installation compared to job site construction. Therefore, producers can build new SAF capacity more than a year faster than is possible with traditional construction approaches.
Honeywell’s ETJ design can also benefit Petroleum refiners and transportation fuel producers as it is purpose-built to enable conversion of current or idle facilities into SAF production plants to meet the growing market demand.
Honeywell plans to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and facilities by 2035. About 60% of Honeywell’s new product introduction research and development investment is directed toward products that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers.