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Honeywell To Fly The Blue Skies With Greener Fuel

April 18, 2012

Move over Solazyme (SZYM :NASDAQ) and the host of start-ups looking to conquer the green jet fuel space. Aerospace leader Honeywell (HON :NYSE) is going to begin testing an improved jet fuel made from biofeedstock in Canada.

Honeywell has been working on green jet fuel under a contract from U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for quite a few years and has successfully conducted test flights using a 50/50 ratio of green jet fuel and a petroleum based jet fuel. But the latest tests will feature a new feedstock allowing the company to use a much higher ratio of green fuel to traditional fuel.

Under previous tests, Honeywell’s green jet fuel at a 50/50 ratio was a drop-in replacement and did not require any engine modifications to the jets.

Solazyme currently has an edge on Honeywell’s product as their algae oil can be combined with cooking oil to produce 100 percent green jet fuel through their partner, Dynamic Fuels. But these latest rounds of tests by Honeywell could demonstrate that they are a lot closer to achieving 100 percent green jet fuel.

But the real cause for concern for Solazyme and the rest of the field is that Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company. If they can perfect a 100 percent green jet fuel, they have the resources to quickly develop processing plants to manufacture the green fuel at a very large scale.

Shares of Solazyme were down 2.83 percent in late day trading while shares of Honeywell declined a more modest 0.13 percent. 

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