UOP contracts to demo biofuel technology

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has been awarded a $1.1 million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) via the United States Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center to develop and demonstrate technology that will produce renewable jet fuel from alcohols found in natural feedstocks.

Under the contract, Honeywell’s UOP will produce renewable jet fuel from a type of alcohol called isobutanol. Isobutanol, to be supplied for this project by advanced biofuel company Gevo, can be produced from a variety of starch and sugar feedstocks, including corn. In the future, inedible sources, such as corn stover, bagasse and wood residues, could also be used as feedstocks.

The contract supports government efforts to identify and accelerate the commercial availability of next-generation, non-fossil jet fuel. 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 last several years.

UOP will deliver 100 gallons of renewable jet fuel derived from isobutanol to the government in 2012. This fuel will be evaluated to ensure it is compatible with aircraft engines and that it meets specification for flight.