Groundbreaking Self-Sufficient Refinery Can Produce the Only 100 Percent Clean Fuel

Many critics of the whole “green energy” phenomenon say that the processes through which alternative fuels are obtained are actually a source of CO2 themselves. A renewable fuel refinery that’s also self-sufficient, could not only make the production process cleaner, but also decrease the carbon intensity of the renewable fuel to unprecedented levels.
The U.S. government wants all commercial aircraft to run on SAF, by 2050 6 photos
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The U.S. government is committed to switching to 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2050. The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, launched by the U.S. Department of Energy together with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is awarding over $64 million to 22 projects that can accelerate SAF development, through innovative technologies.

Honeywell’s UOP Ecofining technology has been used for the commercial production of SAF since 2016, by California-based World Energy, which still is the only 100% renewable jet fuel production facility in the world. Now, Honeywell is taking things to the next level, by reducing lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 100%, compared to petroleum-based fuel.

Until now, the UOP Ecofining process of converting waste oils and fats into green jet fuel achieved an 80% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions. By partnering with Wood, a specialist in hydrogen production technology, Honeywell intends to further cut GHG, to 100%.

First, the byproducts of the UOP Ecofining process will be used to produce hydrogen, through Wood’s technology, which would then be re-introduced into the SAF-making process, to help reduce fuel impurities. This results not only in cleaner-burning fuel, but also in an additional 10% GHG cut.

Finally, the CO2 that’s generated through the hydrogen production process, is captured and stored underground, which cuts GHG emissions by an extra 10%. In the end, by combining Honeywell’s and Wood’s technologies, an aviation fuel that is completely carbon neutral can be obtained.

This future refinery would be, according to Honeywell, entirely self-sufficient in terms of hydrogen production, while also producing cleaner fuel – which helps support the U.S. government strategy for the large-scale production and use of SAF.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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