ExxonMobil announces methanol-to-jet process for SAF production

By ExxonMobil | June 20, 2022

ExxonMobil today announced a unique process technology to enable the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable methanol.

    •ExxonMobil is focused on growing its lower-emission fuels business by leveraging technology and infrastructure.

    •ExxonMobil is engineering proprietary methanol to jet technology that will produce SAF when renewable methanol is used as feedstock.

    •This expands upon ExxonMobil’s suite of technology solutions that are engineered to manufacture SAF from other biofeeds.

“SAF produced from renewable methanol can play an important role in helping the aviation industry achieve the transition to a net-zero future. Reaching that goal by 2050 will require a multi-faceted approach, including advancements in aircraft-related technology, changes to infrastructure and operations, and a dramatic increase in SAF supply. Our process technology can be an important step in this direction,” said Russ Green, ExxonMobil’s lower-emission fuels venture executive.

 

Proprietary methanol to jet technology

ExxonMobil has a long history of developing advantaged proprietary process technologies and catalysts to make energy products that society needs. ExxonMobil is leveraging its core capabilities to develop a solution that converts methanol to SAF.

Methanol derived from the gasification of biomass and waste, as well as from lower-carbon hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide (CO₂), can be converted into SAF using ExxonMobil’s methanol to jet proprietary process technology and catalysts. Preliminary estimates by ExxonMobil suggest that this solution has a higher yield of jet fuel than other options. The ExxonMobil solution also provides the flexibility to use a mix of alcohols as feedstock and produce renewable diesel and lower-carbon chemical feedstocks.

“Methanol to jet technology is scalable and suitable for the conversion of methanol produced from today's world-scale plants. The work necessary to qualify the resulting renewable jet fuel pathway has already started,” said James Ritchie, president of ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC.

 

Technology to convert other biofeeds to SAF

Additionally, ExxonMobil has process technology and catalysts that are available to customers today which convert other renewable biofeeds, such as used cooking oils, animal fats, and vegetable oil, into renewable jet fuel. Our analysis shows that our BIDW isomerization catalyst provides a jet fuel yield advantage versus alternatives currently available.

 

Decarbonization and hydrogen solutions

ExxonMobil is evaluating opportunities to deploy these process technology solutions within a portfolio of options to help the aviation industry to decarbonize.

“ExxonMobil is advancing integrated solutions to extend our carbon capture and storage (CCS) and Hydrogen capabilities to support the decarbonization objectives of our biofuels customers and partners,” said Siva Ariyapadi, bioenergy global business manager.