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Honeywell introduces new ethanol-to-jet fuel technology

Honeywell introduces new ethanol-to-jet fuel technology
Photo courtesy of Honeywell

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 (GHG) emissions by 80% on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel, the company said.

Demand for SAF continues to grow; however, the aviation industry is challenged by limited supplies of traditional SAF feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats and waste oils. Ethanol offers producers a widely available, economically viable feedstock. Honeywell’s technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency. The technology results in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel, Honeywell said.

Ethanol-to-jet fuel conversion, combined with other technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCUS) and smart farming practices, can result in negative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum-based jet fuel,  a 2021 life-cycle analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory concluded.

“Honeywell pioneered SAF production with its Ecofiningโ„ข 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 enabling lower installed costs and faster, less labor-intensive installation compared to job site construction, according to Honeywell. By utilizing Honeywell’s ETJ technology and an integrated, modular construction approach, producers can build new SAF capacity more than a year faster than is possible with traditional construction approaches.