AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

United, Honeywell Invest in New Clean Tech Venture from Alder Fuels, Powering Biggest Sustainable Fuel Agreement in Aviation History

Honeywell | September 13, 2021

United, Honeywell Invest in New Clean Tech Venture from Alder Fuels, Powering Biggest Sustainable Fuel Agreement in Aviation History
United and Honeywell today announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels – a cleantech company that is pioneering first-of-its-kind technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When used together across the fuel lifecycle, the Alder technologies, coupled with Honeywell's Ecofining™ process, could have the ability to produce a carbon-negative fuel at spec with today's jet fuel. The goal of the technologies is to produce fuel that is a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum jet fuel.

As part of the agreement, United is committing to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder when produced to United's requirements. United's purchase agreement, which is one and a half times the size of the known purchase commitments of all global airlines combined, makes this easily the largest publicly announced SAF agreement in aviation history. United's purchase agreement with Alder also surpasses the previous record set by the airline in 2015 through its investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy with its option to purchase up to 900 million gallons of SAF. Alder's technology and demand for its fuel from the aviation industry create a large new market for biomass from regenerative practices. Use of this biomass further enables Alder's production process to be carbon negative over the fuel's lifecycle.

Prior to founding Alder, Sherbacow built the world's first SAF refinery utilizing Honeywell's technology and subsequently contracted with United, enabling the airline to become the first globally to use SAF in regular operations on a continuous basis. Since then, United has purchased more SAF than any other airline and, with this agreement now, has more than 70% of the airline industry's publicly announced SAF commitments. Alder's research is supported by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, the DOE and a partnership with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), focused on developing technology to process organic waste and sustainable, non-food plant material into carbon-negative transportation fuels.

Honeywell innovation established the SAF market with its UOP Ecofining process, which is the first technology used to maximize SAF production for commercial aviation. Building on Honeywell's focus to create sustainable technology, Honeywell will utilize its expertise and proven process of developing sustainable fuels alongside Alder, applying proprietary hydroprocessing design to the process to jointly commercialize the technology. Commercialization is expected by 2025. This announcement is a clear example of how Honeywell's Sustainable Technology Solutions business can partner with early-stage companies and help them scale faster, access customers and advance research and development to help drive sustainability at the global level.

United's joint investment in Alder is the latest by United Airlines Ventures, a venture fund launched earlier this year that focuses on startups, upcoming technologies, and sustainability concepts that will complement United's goal of net zero emissions by 2050 -- without relying on traditional carbon offsets. In 2020, United became the first airline to announce a commitment to invest in carbon capture and sequestration and has since followed with investments in electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and 19-seat electric aircraft that have the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the decade's end.

About United
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World."

About United Airlines Ventures
United's corporate venture capital fund, United Airlines Ventures, allows the airline to continue investing in emerging companies that have the potential to influence the future of travel. The new fund will concentrate on sustainability concepts that will complement United's goal of net zero emissions by 2050 -- without relying on traditional carbon offsets -- as well as revolutionary aerospace developments and innovative technologies that are expected to create value for customers and United's operation. 

About Honeywell
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

About Alder Fuels
Alder Fuels, founded by biofuel and aviation industry entrepreneur Bryan Sherbacow, is a process technology and project development company in the low-carbon energy industry. Alder is commercializing a process to produce crude oil that is carbon negative, scalable and cost-competitive with the petroleum it replaces. Critical to rapid, world-scale deployment, the process will be compatible with the existing petroleum refining and logistics infrastructure.  The company's collaboration with United Airlines and Honeywell UOP is expected to propel use of new forms of biomass to power commercial aircraft, reduce fossil fuel consumption and commercialize technologies benefiting the flying public. It builds upon a decade-old relationship among the stakeholders in pioneering commercialization of industry-leading SAF technology.

Spotlight

My name is Brian McConnell, I work for Delta Air Lines and coordinate the Honor Guard program for the military fallen, however the information put out by most people sharing this video is incorrect. I know it has been shared with the heading “Watch what Delta does for Fallen Soldier and his K9” but that info is incorrect.The truth is, the first fallen coming off the aircraft, covered in the U.S. Flag is a soldier missing over 63 years from the Korean War who was identified and was being returned to his family, the second and smaller box was actually additional bone fragments of a soldier who was already sent home and buried, they were to go and be interned with that soldier.


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Spotlight

My name is Brian McConnell, I work for Delta Air Lines and coordinate the Honor Guard program for the military fallen, however the information put out by most people sharing this video is incorrect. I know it has been shared with the heading “Watch what Delta does for Fallen Soldier and his K9” but that info is incorrect.The truth is, the first fallen coming off the aircraft, covered in the U.S. Flag is a soldier missing over 63 years from the Korean War who was identified and was being returned to his family, the second and smaller box was actually additional bone fragments of a soldier who was already sent home and buried, they were to go and be interned with that soldier.

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