DES PLAINES, Ill., 2 Dec. 2011. UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE:HON) company, won a $1.1 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contract to develop and demonstrate technology to produce renewable jet fuel from alcohols found in natural feedstocks. The contract, awarded via the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe Center, supports U.S. government efforts to identify and accelerate the commercial availability of next-generation, non-fossil jet fuel.
Engineers at Honeywell's UOP will produce renewable jet fuel from isobutanol, to be supplied for this project by advanced biofuel company Gevo and which can be produced from a variety of starch and sugar feedstocks, including corn. Isobutanol-derived biofuels will offer new renewable sources for jet fuel production beyond the natural oils and biomass materials that have been introduced for commercial and military flight in the past several years. In the future, inedible sources, such as corn stover, bagasse and wood residues, could also be used as feedstocks.
UOP engineers will deliver 100 gallons of renewable jet fuel derived from isobutanol to the government in 2012. The fuel will be evaluated to ensure it is compatible with aircraft engines and that it meets specification for flight.
"The development of new second-generation biofeedstock conversion technology is critical to support growing energy needs and speed commercial availability," says Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager for Renewable Energy & Chemicals at Honeywell's UOP. "We are committed to partnerships with the FAA and other government entities and private companies to realize the potential of biofuels."
"We believe that projects like this one will help accelerate the adoption of this new technology by refiners, the military and airlines to the nation's benefit and open a new market for isobutanol," says Christopher Ryan, PhD, president and COO of Gevo.
Honeywell's UOP currently offers process technology to produce Honeywell Green Jet Fuel from natural oils and wastes that meets all specifications for flight and, when used up to a 50 percent blend with petroleum-derived jet fuel, is a drop-in replacement that requires no changes to the aircraft or engine.
To date, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel has been used in more than 20 test and commercial flights on military and commercial platforms. The fuel received ASTM approval for commercial flight in July 2011.