US firm Honeywell says that it will provide its Ethanol to Jet (ETJ) processing technology to Summit Next Gen, an affiliate of Summit Agricultural Group. Summit Next Gen will utilise Honeywell’s ETJ technology to convert low-carbon ethanol into SAF.
Honeywell UOP ETJ process is ready-now and allows producers to convert ethanol produced from a variety of sources, including corn, sugar, and cellulosic material among others, into SAF. Depending on the ethanol feedstock, SAF produced with the Honeywell UOP ETJ process can reduce GHG emissions by 80% on a total lifecycle basis compared to petroleum-based jet fuel1.
Summit Next Gen’s ETJ facility will be located in the US Gulf Coast region, providing access to significant logistics and utility infrastructure. The planned capacity is approximately 250 million gallons/year of SAF. Honeywell UOP will provide related engineering and technical services, equipment, catalysts and adsorbents, and technical support services for start-up and throughout the life of the plant. Honeywell’s ETJ technology can be modularised off-site to enable, in many cases, lower installed costs and faster, less labour-intensive installation compared to job site construction.
“The creation of Summit Next Gen and our partnership with a technology leader like Honeywell UOP sets a new standard for the agriculture, ethanol, and aviation industries,” said Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group. “The agriculture and ethanol industries have a long history of continuous improvement producing more with less, and this has enabled forward-thinking ethanol producers to be favourably positioned for the present challenge of helping aviation reduce its carbon footprint.”
“Replacing fossil fuels with SAF enables a material reduction in aviation related GHG emissions. Expanding SAF feedstocks to include ethanol, biomass, and CO2 is essential to increasing the share of SAF of the total jet fuel demand,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “We are delighted to collaborate with Summit Next Gen to combine Honeywell UOP ETJ technology with Summit Agricultural Group’s experience in low-carbon biofuels to help the aviation industry accelerate its decarbonisation.”
Demand for SAF continues to grow. In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its SAF Grand Challenge for the U.S. aviation fuel supply sector to produce at least three billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030 and reduce emissions from aviation by 20%, with an eventual goal of meeting 100% of US 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% in 2025 to 70% by 2050. These and other incentives, including the Inflation Reduction Act, accelerate the need for alternative SAF feedstocks to meet demand.
SAF is nearly identical to petroleum-based jet fuel and can be used as a drop-in replacement without engine modifications in blends up to 50% currently.