New technology from Johnson Matthey provides a scalable solution for the conversion of CO2 to sustainable aviation fuels

Posted on: 21/01/2022
Aeroplane wing

Johnson Matthey have just launched HyCOgen, a catalysed process which converts captured carbon dioxide (CO2) and green hydrogen into synthesis gas (syngas).

Johnson Matthey’s HyCOgen is then integrated with FT CANS Fischer Tropsch technology, which was developed in coordination with bp. The coupling of the two technologies provides an end to end, optimised and highly scalable process, converting over 95% of the CO2 captured into high quality synthetic crude oil. The synthetic crude oil can then be upgraded into sustainable drop-in fuel products including aviation fuels, renewable diesel and naphtha.

Commercial aviation is responsible for 2-3% of global carbon emissions. Johnson Matthey claim the HyCOgen solution, along with the FT CANS technology, has the potential to increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) efficiently at scale, supporting the ambitious targets set globally for decarbonising aviation.

 “Given the challenges associated with new propulsion technologies and airport infrastructure, plus the long asset life of aircraft, there are significant hurdles in moving from hydrocarbon-based aviation fuel to alternatives such as battery electric or hydrogen. This is where Johnson Matthey’s longstanding expertise and market-leading position in syngas generation technology can play a crucial role, by providing solutions that enable the production of sustainable drop-in fuels that are deployable today.

By combining HyCOgen with FT CANS, we can now deliver customers a cost-efficient, reliable and scalable technology to help increase SAF production, backed by our track record of successful technology development and commercialisation.”

Jane Toogood, Sector Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey has already partnered with Virent to commercialise their BioForming process. This technology played a key role in United Airlines’ achievement last month of the first commercial flight using 100% drop-in SAF in one of two engines, demonstrating a clear path for greater adoption of low carbon aviation fuels.

Read more about Innovate UK KTN’s work in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

If you are interested in other companies that can or have the potential to supply specific SAF products, click here to explore KTN’s UK SAF Analysis.

Johnson Matthey is a member of the Technology work stream of the Jet Zero Council Sustainable Aviation Fuel Delivery Group, where their catalysis expertise has been valuable in providing technical direction for the group.

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Michelle Carter

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