Honeywell announces new technology for ethanol-to-SAF

Honeywell's ethanol-to-jet fuel process can reduce GHG emissions by 80% on a total lifecycle basis.

Honeywell announces new technology for ethanol-to-SAF

Nasdaq-listed Honeywell announced an 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 process can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent on a total lifecycle basis compared to petroleum-based jet fuel," says a release from Honeywell.

Demand for SAF continues to grow but the aviation industry is challenged by limited supplies of traditional SAF feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats and waste oils, says the release. "Ethanol offers producers a widely available, economically viable feedstock. Honeywell's ready-now technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximise production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel."

A 2021 life-cycle analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory reported that 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, the release said.

"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," says 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 modularised off site enabling lower installed costs and faster, less labour-intensive installation compared to job site construction, the release said. Petroleum refiners and transportation fuel producers can also benefit from Honeywell's ETJ design that is purpose-built to enable conversion of current or idle facilities into SAF production plants, potentially maximising use of existing sites for SAF production to meet the growing market demand.

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