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Neste Oil Signs Long-Term Procurement Agreements for Animal Fat for NExBTL Process

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.



I am curious as to what contributes this animal fat. I very much hope this technology doesn't lead to the killing of animals just for biofuels. That would be quite grotesque in my opinion!


Yes, it would be grotesques, and it wouldn't make much sense. They'll be using waste animal fat from the food industry, so no animal is killed just for fuel.


I've got a housecat that should be good for a couple of gallons, at least. She's certainly not contributing any value right now...

Paul Dietz

This work illuminates an important distinction for biofuels: separating biomass as a source of energy from biomass as a source of carbon. The hydrogen input provides a separate energy input that enhances the energy content of the output, over and above the energy content of the fatty acids, while the result is much more convenient for use than gaseous hydrogen.

Schemes like this could extend the quantity of fuel that could be produced from biomass, using electrolytic hydrogen produced from other non-fossil sources. I wonder if they've tried hydrogenation of carbohydrates for fuels? I see people have been exploring ideas like this.


Getting the cat in the tank might be tricky. is it declaud


It would seem that the process would require a lot of natural gas (assuming that that their hydrogen source would come from NG). 20:1 appears to be decent ratio, however. CH4 would crack into a fair amount of H2.

btw- two gallons from that cat is quite impressive! Who would have thought; cats make a fantastic source of biofuel feedstock. The solution to our energy problems appear more simple than we could have imagined!

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