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Honeywell introduces UOP eFining™ technology for new class of SAF


Photo: Honeywell

Honeywell announced May 10 its innovative, new, UOP eFining™ technology, a ready-now solution for producing low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).


HIF Global, a leading eFuels company, intends to deploy the new technology to produce eSAF at its second U.S. eFuels project.


eFuels, also known as electrofuels, 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-fuel (MTJ) processing technology that can convert eMethanol to eSAF reliably and at scale.


“The technology is efficient, resulting in high-yield eSAF production at a lower cost relative to comparable technologies,” according to Honeywell.


Honeywell UOP eFining can reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 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.


“As a leader in renewable fuel technology, Honeywell recognizes that creating technologies that use new feedstocks is vital to long-term decarbonization of the aviation sector,” said Lucian Boldea, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. “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.”


United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen added, “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.”


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 U.S.


The HIF eSAF project is expected to be the world’s largest eSAF facility, recycling approximately 2 million tons of captured CO2 to make approximately 462,000 gallons per day of eSAF by 2030.


Renato Pereira, CEO of HIF USA added, “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.”


Demand for SAF continues to grow.


In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge for the U.S. aviation fuel supply sector to produce at least 3 billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030 and reduce emissions from aviation by 20 percent, with an eventual goal of meeting 100 percent of U.S. aviation fuel demand with SAF by 2050.


The European Council released its ReFuelEU Aviation rules as part of the Fit for 55 package, which aim 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 subtarget for eSAF of 1.2 percent by 2030 and 35 percent in 2050.


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


Honeywell’s 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 stated.


Honeywell’s eFining™ is the latest technology in a line of offerings that are driving the decarbonization of the aviation sector.


The company offers multiple routes to market using a variety of feedstocks, including Ecofining™ technology, which uses fats, oils and greases and the recently launched ethanol-to-jet technology.

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