Earlier this year in October, Honeywell announced a new, innovative ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology. This technology can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel. The development of this technology was undertaken at the Honeywell India Technology Center in Gurugram.
By 2035, the company is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities.
What is the new technology?
Innovative ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology allows producers to convert sugar or corn or cellulosic based ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). According to top company officials it all depends on the type of ethanol feedstock used.
Ashish Gaikwad, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell UOP India speaks to Huma Siddiqui about the company’s new technologies being adopted by the aviation sector.
Following are excerpts:
Aviation industry is known as the major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. How are Honeywell technologies helping them achieve their sustainability goals?
Honeywell’s ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology utilizes innovative, high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel. Depending on the type of ethanol feedstock used, jet fuel produced from Honeywell’s Ethanol-to-Jet (ETJ) technology can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel
How do you see the demand growing for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)? How are biofuels contributing to the demand-supply gap?
The global sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market is developing fast and is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the foreseeable future. Industry reports predict a CAGR in the SAF market of 60 percent during 2022-2032.
In India, adoption of SAF is at a very nascent stage. There have been few demonstration flights on blended fuel for lower carbon emissions. In August 2018, SpiceJet
In February 2022, IndiGo
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Honeywell has pioneered SAF production with its Ecofining technology to support the aviation sector’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions, meet global SAF production targets, and to meet the exponentially growing demand for clean fuels. The ethanol to jet process supports greater production of SAF by providing a solution to produce SAF from an abundant feedstock like ethanol.
What was the idea behind introducing ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology?
Today, aviation is an essential contributor to the health and well-being of the nation’s economy and has evolved into the fastest, safest, and most reliable transportation mode in the country. While the aviation sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6%, it is important to ensure this growth is environmentally sustainable.
Hence, while the demand for SAF continues to grow, the aviation industry faces the challenge of 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 ETJ processing technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel.
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Apart from the aviation industry, who are the other beneficiaries of ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology?
Apart from the aviation sector, petroleum refineries and transportation fuel producers can also benefit from the ETJ design. It is purpose-built to enable conversion of current or idle facilities to SAF production plants, potentially maximizing use of existing sites for SAF production to meet the growing market demand.
Honeywell’s initiatives towards developing sustainable feedstock alternatives are varied and are not limited to just the aviation sector. While Honeywell’s two-stage designs can process feedstocks including used cooking oils and animal fats, and produce renewable jet fuel, the single-stage UOP Ecofining technology produces Honeywell Green Diesel fuel, which is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used as a drop-in replacement in vehicles with no modifications.