UOP, PetroChina, Air China and Boeing to Collaborate with Government Agencies on Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Industry in China
|Process flow diagram for the production of synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) for Green Jet fuel. Source: UOP. Click to enlarge.|
UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, will collaborate with aviation and refining companies, including PetroChina, Air China and Boeing, to evaluate and demonstrate sustainable aviation biofuels in China.
Honeywell’s UOP will be part of a team led by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and the US Trade and Development Agency (USDTA) that will work to address the technical, economic and institutional factors required for the development of a new biofuels industry in China. The team, which includes government agencies and associations along with aviation and biofuel companies, will address feedstock harvesting and processing, the establishment of refining capacity for commercial production, and the development of the infrastructure to store, deliver and dispense biofuels.
The collaborations were announced at the joint opening of the Renewable Energy and Advanced Biofuel Fora on 26 May at the Beijing Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. The NEA and the Civil Aviation Administration of China were joined by the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Agriculture and US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman to commemorate the agreements.
Honeywell’s UOP signed a memorandum of understanding to work jointly with PetroChina, Air China and Boeing to evaluate and plan a biofuel demonstration flight in China. The flight would use Honeywell Green Jet Fuel (earlier post) made from sustainable, non-food feedstocks using UOP processing technology.
Developing an aviation biofuel industry is a high priority for China to address growing concern over greenhouse gas emissions and the threat of volatile jet fuel costs. This collaboration of governments and industry experts will develop the complete supply chain for affordable, safe and domestically produced aviation biofuels in China.—Jennifer Holmgren, vice president of Renewable Energy and Chemicals for Honeywell’s UOP
|UOP Green Jet Process|
|The Green Jet process originated in a DARPA-funded project to develop process technology to produce military jet fuel (JP-8) from renewable sources, and is an extension of UOP’s Ecofining process, which utilizes conventional refinery hydroprocessing technology.|
|Natural oils contain oxygen and have a high molecular weight. The process first removes the oxygen, resulting in diesel-range waxy paraffins. A second reaction cracks the diesel paraffins to smaller, highly branched molecules.|
|While the Ecofining unit can produce up to 15 vol% of synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) jet fuel as a co-product with renewable diesel, the new Green Jet process is designed to maximize the yield of SPK to 50-70 vol%.|
|This is achieved by optimizing the catalytic processes of deoxygenation, isomerization and selective cracking of the hydrocarbons present in natural oils and fats to yield a high quality, ultra-low sulfur jet-range material fuel that meets all properties of ASTM D7566 (Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons).|
A new study by researchers in the UK projects that carbon dioxide and other gases from air traffic will become a significant source of global warming as they double or triple by 2050. (Earlier post.)
Aviation biofuel made by UOP has been used for biofuel demonstration flights on Boeing commercial aircraft with Air New Zealand, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as well as on military demonstration flights with US Air Force and Navy aircraft.
The UOP process produces Green Jet Fuel which requires no changes to the aircraft engine technology when used at a 50% blend with petroleum-based jet fuel and meets or exceeds all specifications for flight. Green Jet Fuel made from second-generation, non-food sources such as camelina and jatropha plants offers up to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over petroleum-based fuels.
In addition to the Green Jet Fuel technology developed by UOP, Honeywell’s Aerospace business is involved with testing Green Jet Fuel on Honeywell engines and auxiliary power units, including 131-9 model APUs, which are used in Air China’s fleet.
Honeywell was also recently selected to supply the auxiliary power unit for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (COMAC) C919 new aircraft.