The solution could benefit producers of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, as they might be eligible for larger subsidies for manufacturing the fuel if they can limit carbon intensity during production.
The development – shared with Reuters ahead of its official launch – comes as the Biden administration sets itself targets to help boost SAF production to move the aircraft industry away from using traditional jet fuel made from oil to reduce emissions.
Sustainable aviation fuel can be made with raw materials such as cooking oil, animal fat, and soybean oil. Fuel production is still minimal compared to traditional jet fuel.
The two companies are partnering on a process that combines processing from Honeywell’s production with technology from Wood’s hydrogen plant. They said it can significantly reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, especially when using certain raw materials, compared to emissions when producing traditional jet fuel.
Honeywell’s production process converts used oils, fats and greases into SAF. Its technology is used today in all licensed renewable jet fuel production around the world, Honeywell and Wood said in a prepared press release seen by Reuters.
As part of the production process, wood technology will be integrated to use the by-products of process technology to produce renewable hydrogen. The renewable hydrogen is then fed back into Honeywell’s production process to remove feed impurities and create a cleaner-burning renewable fuel, the statement said.
The carbon dioxide generated by the production of hydrogen can be captured and sent to permanent underground sequestration using Honeywell technology.
“The government incentives here are very favorable, but profitability improves dramatically as you reduce carbon intensities,” said Ben Owens, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. He said the companies were in talks with current producers of sustainable aviation fuel.
Earlier this month, the White House said it was targeting 20% less aviation emissions by 2030, as airlines pledged to use more SAF.