Electrofuel company HIF Global has partnered with Johnson Matthey and Honeywell to conduct initial engineering work for the firm’s first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant in the U.S.
Honeywell is a North Carolina-based technology and manufacturing company, while Johnson Matthey is a multinational specialty chemicals and sustainable technologies company based in London, U.K.
HIF’s facility is expected to generate about 11,000 barrels per day of eSAF by 2030, enough to reduce more than 12 billion air passenger miles’ worth of carbon emissions annually. The company did not disclose the location of the plant.
“Air travel is the most challenging sector of the global transportation infrastructure to decarbonize, with limited low carbon alternatives to serve growing demand for jet fuel,” said Renato Pereira, CEO of HIF USA. “The simplicity of eFuels is that they are produced from air and water for use in existing engines. eSAF produced using Honeywell’s technology can reduce CO2 emissions compared to conventional jet fuel by 88 percent. When blended with conventional jet fuel, eSAF can be dropped-in immediately to existing jet engines with no modifications required.”
eSAF is produced by blending recycled carbon dioxide (CO2) with hydrogen generated from renewable energy. eSAF can be used in existing jet engines without any alterations.
HIF’s new SAF plant will mark the company’s second facility in the U.S. In April 2022, the firm announced plans to open an industrial-scale eFuels facility in Matagorda County, Texas. Construction of this eFuels facility is expected to begin in 2024.
“eFuels are a replacement for fossil fuels and are a necessary solution for decarbonizing global transportation,” said Meg Gentle, Executive Director of HIF Global. “At HIF Global, we have already demonstrated the capability to produce eMethanol for marine transport and eGasoline for road transport with the 2022 start-up of the HIF Haru Oni Demonstration Facility in southern Patagonia, Chile, where the wind is blowing all the time. Together with Johnson Matthey and Honeywell, we intend to deliver an eFuel solution for airplanes before 2030.”
Johnson Matthey's technology will utilize recycled CO2 and green hydrogen to produce eMethanol, which can be utilized in the chemical and shipping sectors or upgraded into other eFuels including eSAF. The company is currently producing eMethanol at the HIF Haru Oni Demonstration Plant in Chile.
“We are very excited to be collaborating again with HIF, offering JM’s CO2-to-methanol technology in this leading eFuels project,” said Alberto Giovanzana, Chief Commercial Officer of Catalyst Technologies at Johnson Matthey. “JM’s sustained innovation on methanol process and catalyst technology is allowing us to move at scale and pace in one of the routes to eSAF that enables the transition to net zero.”
The Honeywell UOP eFining technology processes eMethanol into a light olefin stream that is oligomerized, hydrogenated, and finally fractionated to produce eSAF. The technology can process flexible feedstocks and uses proven processes to ensure operational reliability, minimal capital expenditures, and low energy intensity.