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United Airlines uses renewable jet fuel for commercial flights

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Honeywell UOP has announced that United Airlines will use Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ to power 12 500 flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and support energy diversification.

The fuel, for the flights, was produced by AltAir Paramount LLC using Honeywell UOP's proprietary renewable jet fuel process technology, which converts non-edible animal fats and oils into renewable fuels. The process is fully compatible with existing equipment commonly used in today's refineries, making it easier for refiners to use existing infrastructure to produce renewable fuels.

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel can replace as much as 50% of petroleum-derived jet fuel used in flight, without any changes to the aircraft technology, while meeting the current ASTM jet fuel specifications for flight. Depending on the biofeedstock, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel can offer a 65 – 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with petroleum-based fuels.

United will fly on a blend of 30% renewable jet fuel and 70% petroleum jet fuel. The company will purchase 15 million gal. of renewable jet fuel from AltAir over a three year period.

"United's commitment to using renewable fuel in everyday service is a significant milestone in the adoption and use of sustainable fuels," said Veronica May, Vice President and General Manager of Honeywell UOP's Renewable Energy and Chemicals business. "Honeywell UOP has developed a versatile portfolio of technologies that can produce renewable diesel and jet fuel, and we've seen a range of uses including commercial and military aircraft, bus fleets and ships. We remain committed to providing refiners and other producers the best technology for making renewable fuels."

AltAir operates the world's first dedicated commercial scale renewable jet fuel production facility. The company developed and operates several units at the Paramount Petroleum Corporation (a subsidiary of Alon USA Energy) refinery for the production of low carbon fuels and chemicals derived from sustainable feedstocks. AltAir revamped portions of the petroleum refinery in Paramount and is now producing renewable transportation fuels for commercial and military use. The plant has also produced Honeywell Green Diesel™, a drop-in replacement for diesel made from petroleum, using the same process technology.

Honeywell Green Diesel offers up to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions versus diesel from petroleum. Chemically identical to petroleum diesel, Honeywell Green Diesel can be used in any proportion in existing fuel tanks without infrastructure changes. Unlike biodiesel, Honeywell Green Diesel is a drop-in replacement for traditional diesel.

AltAir is the second US fuel producer using Honeywell UOP technology to produce renewable fuels and the first producing renewable jet fuel, joining Diamond Green Diesel, which is producing renewable diesel in Louisiana.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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