Industrial technology solutions leader Honeywell International has developed several energy transitions and sustainability solutions to reduce carbon emissions and these technologies will soon be made available in India, says Ashish Modi, President, Honeywell India.

Honeywell, with a revenue worth $35 billion, pioneered solutions in carbon capture, new-age batteries, avionics products, and next-generation refrigerants like hydrofluoroolefins (HFO). It has developed new battery solutions, next-generation refrigerant HFOs, renewable solutions to recycle and produce plastic, catalysts to increase green hydrogen production and thereby reduce cost, etc. More than 60% of Honeywell’s 2021 sales came from ESG-oriented solutions.

Honeywell has developed a new catalyst-coated membrane (CCMs) technology for Green Hydrogen production, which ensures higher electrolyzer efficiency and higher electric current density. The new catalyst is projected to provide a 25% reduction in electrolyzer stack cost.  Currently, the company is in talks with electrolyser manufacturers, including in India, to use this technology, Ashish Modi told Fortune India in an exclusive interview.

Honeywell’s green hydrogen technology uses a combination of processes such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA), membrane systems, and cryogenic fractionation to enable hydrogen producers to capture carbon cost-effectively during the hydrogen production process. This recovers 20% more hydrogen than conventional PSA technology, while also reducing energy consumption. Honeywell has also developed a Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC), a lower-cost solution for long-distance transportation of green and blue hydrogen. Today, more than 15 million tons of CO2 are being captured each year by Honeywell’s CCUS processes, including an advanced solvent carbon capture (ASCC) technology. That is equivalent to the emissions of more than 3 million cars on the road. In the US, Honeywell and EnLink Midstream are working together to develop a carbon capture and transportation solution along the Mississippi River corridor with many large, concentrated sources of industrial CO2 emissions.

Its new 'UpCycle' process technology expands the types of plastics that can be recycled and can produce feedstock used to make recycled plastics with a lower carbon footprint. This new technology can reduce the need for fossil fuels in the creation of virgin plastics, with the goal of enabling a circular economy for plastics. It reduces CO²e emissions by 77% compared with conventional modes of handling waste plastic, such as incineration and landfilling.

Honeywell India and Navin Fluorine International, part of the Padmanabh Mafatlal Group, have formed a partnership to manufacture Honeywell’s proprietary 'Solstice' range of hydrofluoroolefins (HFO) in India. HFOs are next-generation refrigerants that can replace harmful hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Multiple global regulations stemming from the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol require the phasedown of HFCs, driving the demand for more sustainable solutions. Honeywell has already invested more than a billion dollars in research, development, and new capacity for its HFO technology. India will start to phase out HFCs in 2032.

In 2022, Honeywell introduced a new technology to produce key feedstock for plastics, to produce a high yield of naphtha from sustainable feedstocks like used cooking oil and animal fats, which has a 50%-80% lower greenhouse gas footprint compared to petroleum feeds. Naphtha is traditionally derived from crude oil and natural gas condensates. Another recent innovation was ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology that allows producers to convert corn-based, cellulosic, or sugar-based ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Development for this technology was undertaken at the Honeywell India Technology Center in Gurugram.

He says Honeywell will soon introduce in India a new battery technology that can store and discharge electricity for long hours, exceeding the duration of lithium-ion batteries, which can only discharge up to 4 hours. The battery stores energy that can be used when wind and solar are absent, in the event of power outages, and when power grids are at capacity.

While top companies across the world, including most Indian corporates and leading public sector companies, are willing to use such technologies in the transition, India requires more hand-holding with the large mid-market MSME sector and in the supply sector to reach sustainability goals. "A lot of new technologies related to sustainability are still in the nascent stage and are in the evaluation stage. The commercialisation of all of these will take time, specifically in the supply side, which is still in the early phases," he says.

Honeywell India, which contributes over a billion dollars a year in revenue to the $35 billion parent Honeywell International, is all set to tap the opportunity as India is one of the fastest-growing economies. Sustainability, aviation, defence, digital services, vehicle automation, infrastructure, and cyber security are some of the areas that are going to witness big growth for the company in India. "We employ about 5,500 engineers in India and most of the software development for our global innovative products is done by our engineers from India," says Ashish Modi.

Honeywell India employs 13,000 people in India and has three manufacturing plants in Gurugram, Dehradun, and Pune, besides four technology development centres at Bengaluru, Madurai, Hyderabad, and Gurugram. About 3,000 plus products, solutions, and applications are engineered in India.

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