Exclusive-Honeywell, Wood to launch solution to make sustainable aviation fuel cleaner

A logo of Honeywell is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tech firm Honeywell International Inc and consulting and engineering company Wood are set to launch a technology solution to help companies reduce carbon intensity when making sustainable aviation fuel, the partners said on Thursday.

The solution could benefit producers of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, as they could be eligible for greater subsidies for making the fuel if they can limit carbon intensity during production.

The development - shared with Reuters before its official launch - comes as the Biden administration is setting targets to help boost SAF production to shift the aviation industry away from using traditional petroleum-based jet fuel to cut emissions.

Sustainable aviation fuel can be made with feedstocks like cooking oil, animal fat and soybean oil. Production of the fuel is still miniscule compared to traditional jet fuel.

The two companies are combining on a process that pairs production processing from Honeywell with Wood's hydrogen plant technology. They said it can significantly reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, especially when using certain feedstocks, compared to emissions when producing traditional jet fuel.

Honeywell's production process converts waste oils, fats and greases into SAF. Its technology is used in all licensed renewable jet fuel production in the world today, Honeywell and Wood said in a prepared press release seen by Reuters.

As part of the production process, technology from Wood will be integrated to use byproducts of the process technology to produce renewable hydrogen. The renewable hydrogen is then injected back into the Honeywell production process to remove feed impurities and create a cleaner burning renewable fuel, the release showed.

The carbon dioxide generated from production of the hydrogen can be captured and routed for permanent underground sequestration using Honeywell's technology.

"The government incentives here are very supportive, but the economics improve greatly as you reduce carbon intensities," said Ben Owens, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. He said the companies are in talks with current producers of sustainable aviation fuel.

Earlier this month, the White House said it is targeting 20% lower aviation emissions by 2030, as airlines pledged to use more SAF.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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