US engineering conglomerate Honeywell has introduced new technology to produce naphtha from sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil (UCO) and animal fats, the company announced.

Traditionally derived from crude oil and natural gas condensates, Naphtha is a petrochemical feedstock used in the production of plastics, specifically olefins that are building blocks for other chemicals and aromatics used to produce polyester and other packaging materials.

The new process, using Honeywell’s UOP Ecofining technology, produced renewable naphtha for use in petrochemical production, the 9 February statement said.

While the UOP Ecofining technology had been used to produce mainly Honeywell Green Diesel and Honeywell Green Jet fuel, with small amounts of bio-naphtha produced as a secondary product, the company said the process had now been adapted to produce renewable naphtha as the main product.

“We see renewable naphtha produced from the UOP Ecofining process as a solution… to help petrochemical producers reduce the carbon footprint of their products compared to using petroleum-based feeds,” Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions vice president and general manager Ben Owens said.

Renewable naphtha from sustainable feeds had a 50%-80% lower greenhouse gas footprint compared to petroleum feeds, depending on the feedstock, Honeywell said.

The UOP Ecofining process for renewable naphtha could also be combined with renewable hydrogen supply and CO2 capture and sequestration through the Honeywell H2 Solutions portfolio, the company said.

An Ecofining unit with renewable hydrogen and CO2 capture processing 10,000 barrels/day of sustainable oil feedstock, such as used cooking oil, into renewable naphtha could reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1M tonnes/year compared to petroleum naphtha, according to Honeywell.

Jointly developed by Honeywell and Italian oil and gas company Eni SpA, the Ecofining process converts non-edible vegetable oils and animal fats into Honeywell Green Diesel.

To date, 23 Ecofining units are in operation in 11 countries around the world, processing 12 different types of renewable feedstocks.