Honeywell and Granbio to Produce Carbon-Neutral Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Honeywell and GranBio Technologies announced that they will combine Honeywell’s ethanol to jet (ETJ) technology with GranBio’s cellulosic ethanol AVAP technology to produce carbon neutral sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from biomass residues at GranBio’s forthcoming U.S. demonstration plant.

GranBio’s patented AVAP process converts biomass, including forest and agricultural residues, to pure low-cost, low-carbon-intensity sugars, lignin, and nanocellulose. The cellulosic sugars are converted to both SAF, through Honeywell’s ETJ technology, and biochemicals, through a separate process.

Using forest biomass-derived ethanol from the AVAP process, jet fuel produced from Honeywell’s ethanol to jet fuel process can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.

“Combining our biorefinery expertise with Honeywell experience in developing and scaling fuel technologies will help ensure SAF supply goals, while supporting GranBio’s mission to provide integrated value chain solutions throughout the world for net zero SAF from biomass,” said Bernardo Gradin, GranBio CEO. “The AVAP technology has great potential, depending on feedstock and plant configuration to allow carbon negative SAF with current life cycle analysis.”

“Plus, in addition to vast forest and agricultural residue available for feedstocks, there is an enormous potential to retrofit idle pulp and paper facilities in the U.S., revitalizing forestry value chains and rural manufacturing with great social, environmental, and economic impact,” Gradin added.

“GranBio’s low carbon feedstock coupled with Honeywell’s SAF expertise will help decarbonize air travel,” said Barry Glickman, vice president, general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “Our advanced ETJ process is ready-now and builds upon Honeywell’s near twenty years’ experience in renewable fuels. Honeywell’s renewable fuels solutions, including ETJ, incorporate integrated, modular designs, that enable producers like GranBio to build new SAF capacity more than a year faster than is possible with traditional construction approaches.”

GranBio’s AVAP aims to enable worldwide net zero SAF production by utilizing abundant, low-cost biomass feedstocks and diversification of income streams through value-added products beyond SAF, providing significant cost advantage as compared to other SAF producers.

GranBio’s subsidiary AVAPCO was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive an $80M grant to support the demonstration plant that will produce ~2 million gallons per year of SAF upon start-up in 2026.

Honeywell now offers solutions across a range of feedstocks to meet the rapidly growing demand for renewable fuels, including SAF. In addition to Honeywell UOP Ecofining, Honeywell’s renewable fuels portfolio includes ethanol to jet technology and the recently announced Honeywell UOP eFining, which converts green hydrogen and carbon dioxide into eFuels.

Honeywell recently committed to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035. This commitment builds on the company’s track record of sharply reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of its operations and facilities as well as its decades-long history of innovation to help its customers meet their environmental and social goals. About 60% of Honeywell’s 2022 new product introduction research and development investment was directed toward ESG-oriented outcomes for customers.