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Sustainable Aviation Fuel – a Path Toward the Future

Sustainable Aviation Fuel – a Path Toward the Future

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a hot topic across the refining industry and across the aerospace industry as well. Progress is being made to allow SAF to be used as a 100% replacement to petroleum jet fuel on aircraft. On December 1, 2021, United Airlines made aviation history by flying the first passenger flight powered by 100% SAF – taking passengers from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). SAF can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% on a life-cycle emissions basis.

Honeywell UOP’s EcofiningTM technology powered the production of the SAF used on the December 1 flight. The Ecofining process makes it possible to deliver commercial volumes of SAF while helping the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint, reduce emissions, and enable affordable decarbonization options. This technology is used to produce Green Jet FuelTM (SAF) that meets renewable energy regulations and can be made from sustainable feedstocks, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 65-85% versus petroleum-based jet fuel.

SAF can also be combined with conventional jet fuel to power aircraft, in blends of up to 50% with petroleum-based jet fuel. This solution can be applied as a drop-in replacement fuel that requires no changes to aircraft technology or fuel infrastructure. In fact, over 10,000 Honeywell auxiliary power units (APUs) can operate today with 50% SAF and be converted into 100% SAF going forward.

Honeywell commits to carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035. The company has already reduced the greenhouse gas intensity of its operations and facilities by more than 90% since 2004. In fact, about half of our research and development investments for new products are focused on things that will improve environmental, safety and social outcomes for our customers and the planet.

The company is driving near-term advancements by improving fuel efficiency and adding SAF capabilities for existing fleets, rather than waiting for new aircraft to be introduced.

Meanwhile, advancements in electric power-generation and distribution systems, fuel cells and electric propulsion systems hold enormous promise for reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

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