An agricultural business based in Alden, Iowa has unveiled ambitious plans to develop the world’s largest facility for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from ethanol.

Summit Agricultural Group said in May it has created a platform called Summit Next Gen to execute the ground-breaking project in the US Gulf Coast region,  chosen for its perfect access to logistics and utility infrastructure.

Summit Next Gen will use the Ethanol to Jet (ETJ) processing technology of Honeywell. The facility is expected to be online in 2025 and to produce almost 946 million litres of SAF per year.  

The initiative provides an additional market opportunity for ethanol producers, which have continuously reduced their carbon footprint through means such as improved efficiency or carbon capture and storage (CCS). At the same time, it responds to the growing demand for low-carbon fuel alternatives in the aviation industry.

Currently, SAF production is constrained by the limited supply of feedstocks, including vegetable oils, animal fats and waste oils.

Honeywell estimates that, depending on the feedstock, SAF produced with its ETJ process can deliver a lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 80% compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.