Neste Oil has signed long-term procurement contracts with two Finnish companies—Honkajoki Oy and Findest Protein Oy—for the supply of animal fat for biofuel production at its Porvoo refinery.
Production of Neste Oil’s biofuel, which will begin in summer 2007, will be based on the company’s proprietary refinery-based NExBTL technology for high-pressure hydrogenation of fatty acids. The process can use a flexible input of any vegetable oil or animal fat. The resulting product has characteristics similar to Fischer-Tropsch output. (Earlier post.)
As can Fischer-Tropsch fuels (Gas-to-Liquids or Biomass-to-Liquids) and biodiesel, NExBTL can be blended with petroleum diesel. The NExBTL process is less capital-intensive than a Fischer-Tropsch project while producing a comparable high-quality product, according to Neste, and uses relatively easily-transported renewable feedstocks: the best of both GTL and biodiesel.
The process, as scaled for the Porvoo implementation, requires 0.9 to 1.0 tonnes of hydrogen gas per hour for a NExBTL output of about 20 tonnes per hour.
Neste is currently building its own 170,000 tonne/year NExBTL plant at its Porvoo refinery in Finland, and is working with oil major Total on evaluating the possibilities for a NExBTL plant at a Total refinery.
Indigenous animal fat of this type represents an excellent raw material for our second-generation biodiesel. Supplies of Finnish animal fat will be insufficient to meet all our needs at Porvoo, however, and we will seek for additional animal fat supplies from outside Finland.—Kimmo Rahkamo, Neste Oil’s Executive Vice President, Components
Neste Oil’s second-generation biodiesel forms part of the company’s strategy of combining a variety of cost-effective raw material inputs with premium refining know-how to produce advanced, high-quality petroleum products for cleaner traffic.