A new project seeks to convert ethanol into 250 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel annually, potentially offering a new way for the airline industry to meet decarbonization goals and creating a new market for existing corn ethanol.
Summit Agricultural Group announced the project — which it dubbed Summit Next Gen — in a release Monday. The company plans to use Ethanol to Jet processing technology created by Honeywell to perform the conversion. The facility will be located in the Gulf Coast region and is expected to be operational in 2025.
“The creation of Summit Next Gen and our partnership with a technology leader like Honeywell UOP sets up a new standard for the agriculture, ethanol and aviation industries,” said Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group. “The agriculture and ethanol industries have a long history of continuous improvement producing more with less, and this has enabled forward-thinking ethanol producers to be favorably positioned for the present challenge of helping aviation reduce its carbon footprint.”
The project was created to meet the large demand for sustainable aviation fuel due to “growing low-carbon markets, recent state-level programs, and incentives created under the Inflation Reduction Act,” the companies said in a release.
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Production of sustainable aviation fuel is challenged by a lack of available feedstocks. Experts hope the Ethanol to Jet process will offer a cost-competitive way to solve the problem at scale.
“Expanding SAF feedstocks to include ethanol, biomass, and CO2 is essential to increasing the share of SAF of total jet fuel demand,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Summit Next Gen to combine Honeywell UOP ETJ technology with Summit Agricultural Group’s experience low carbon biofuels to help the aviation industry accelerate its decarbonization,” he said.
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