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Honeywell introduces new ethanol-to-jet technology

Honeywell announced a new 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 up to 80% on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel (based on the EPA’s summary LCA of GHG emissions for sugarcane.)

Ethanol and isobutanol feedstocks for Alcohol-to-Jet fuels are covered in Annex 5 of ASTM D7566. (Earlier post.)

Demand for SAF continues to grow, yet 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 says that its ready-now technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel.

A 2021 life-cycle analysis by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory concluded 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.

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. 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.

—Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions

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. 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, the company says.

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 maximizing use of exiting sites for SAF production to meet the growing market demand.



Maybe this is a good thing.
Maybe we should use food based ethanol for SAF rather than for land vehicles, which can be more easily electrified or hydrogenesed.
It is much easier to electrify cars, trucks and trains than aircraft.


Agree; Seems to me anything to reduce jet pollution by interrupting the dirty fossil fuel cycle is welcomed and could buy time until more permanent solutions are created, E.g, H2 engines and H2 Fuel Cells.

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