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Honeywell introduces UOP eFining tech for eSAF

Honeywell introduces UOP eFining tech for eSAF
Honeywell International Inc (Honeywell) introduces its new "UOP eFining" technology, a ready-now solution for producing low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) via a methanol-to-jet (MtJ) process (photo courtesy Honeywell).

US-headed global industrial technologies, processes, and performance materials major Honeywell International Inc (Honeywell) has announced the launch of its innovative, new, "UOP eFining" technology, a ready-now solution for producing low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). HIF Global, a world-leading electro-fuels (eFuels) company, intends to deploy the new technology to produce eSAF at its second US eFuels facility.

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Electro-fuels (eFuels) are a class of synthetic fuels that can replace conventionally produced fossil fuels. eFuels combine green hydrogen (i.e., hydrogen produced in electrolyzers from renewable energy and water) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce eMethanol, which can then be converted to a wide range of sustainable fuels, including eSAF, eGasoline, and eDiesel.

Honeywell’s UOP eFining is a Methanol-to-Jet (MtJ) processing technology that can convert eMethanol to eSAF reliably and at scale.

The company says that the technology is efficient, resulting in high-yield eSAF production at a lower cost relative to comparable technologies.

As a leader in renewable fuel technology, Honeywell recognizes that creating technologies that use new feedstocks is vital to the long-term decarbonization of the aviation sector. The ability to use readily abundant CO2 to produce SAF is a transformational opportunity for this market. 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, said Lucian Boldea, President and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies.

According to the company, Honeywell UOP eFining can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 88 percent compared to conventional jet fuel. When blended with conventional jet fuel, eSAF is a drop-in replacement fuel that requires no changes to aircraft technology or fuel infrastructure.

United strongly supports the development of new technologies that can help bring additional quantities of SAF to market. Using green H2 and CO2 to produce eSAF has the potential to dramatically increase the volume of SAF required to enable the aviation industry to reach its decarbonization goals in a timelier manner. United is proud to be the first airline to use SAF in regular operations and increasing our SAF consumption is essential to meeting our commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets, said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures (UAV).

HIF Global signs first commercial agreement

Highly Innovative Fuels Global LLC (HIF Global) is the first customer to sign a commercial agreement for the production of eSAF using Honeywell UOP eFining.

HIF expects to deploy the solution at its second commercial-scale eFuels facility in the United States.

HIF Global started producing the first liters of synthetic fuels from the Haru Oni Demonstration Facility in Magallanes, Chile in December 2022 and intends to begin construction of the first commercial-scale HIF Matagorda eFuels Facility in Texas (TX) in 2024.

The HIF eSAF project is expected to be the world’s largest eSAF facility, recycling approximately 2 million tonnes of captured CO2 to make approximately 11 000 barrels per day of eSAF by 2030.

Honeywell and HIF Global together will transform recycled CO2 into a useful feedstock to replace fossil fuels in the very hard-to-abate aviation sector. At HIF Global, we view Honeywell’s UOP eFining technology as the new frontier in sustainable aviation fuels and we look forward to deploying it to decarbonize over 12 billion air passenger miles per year, said Renato Pereira, CEO of HIF USA.

Supportive policies for SAF growth

Demand for SAF continues to grow. In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge for the US aviation fuel supply sector to produce at least three billion (US) gallons (≈ 11.36 billion litres) of SAF per year by 2030 and reduce emissions from aviation by 20 percent, with an eventual goal of meeting 100 percent of US aviation fuel demand with SAF by 2050.

The European Council (EC) released its ReFuelEU Aviation rules as part of the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package, which aims to increase the share of sustainable fuels at EU airports from a minimum of 2 percent in 2025 to 70 percent by 2050, with an additional sub-target for eSAF of 1.2 percent by 2030 and 35 percent in 2050.

These and other incentives, including the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), are intended to accelerate the commercialization of technologies like Honeywell UOP eFining to help meet the growing demand for SAF.

Expanded technology portfolio

According to Honeywell, its UOP eFining technology offers a highly integrated design that can process flexible feedstocks using commercially proven processes, resulting in operational reliability, minimized capital expenditures, and low energy intensity.

Honeywell’s eFining is the latest technology in a line of offerings that is driving the decarbonization of the aviation sector. The company offers multiple routes to market using a variety of feedstocks, including UOP Ecofining technology which uses fats, oils, and greases, and the recently launched Ethanol-to-Jet (EtJ) technology.

Honeywell is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035.

This commitment builds on the company’s track record of sharply reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of its operations and facilities as well as its decades-long history of innovation to help its customers meet their environmental and social goals.

About 60 percent of Honeywell’s new product introduction research and development investment is directed toward products that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers.

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