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ConocoPhillips and Tyson in Strategic Alliance for Renewable Diesel from Animal Fat

ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods Inc. have formed a strategic alliance to produce renewable diesel from the refinery-based processing of waste animal fat. The companies expect to begin production later this year, and ramp up through spring 2009 to generate as much as 175 million gallons of the renewable fuel per year.

The refinery-based process uses a proprietary thermal depolymerization technology, and processes animal fats with hydrocarbon feedstocks to produce a high-quality diesel fuel that is chemically equivalent to petroleum-derived diesel, and meets all federal standards for ultra low-sulfur diesel. The product is not biodiesel—i.e., fatty acid methyl ester—but a second-generation renewable diesel similar to NExBTL or H-Bio.

The addition of animal fat also improves the fuel’s ignition properties, while the processing step improves its storage stability and handling characteristics.

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil company, said it will begin spending to prepare several refineries to process the fuel. Tyson, the world’s largest chicken, beef and pork processor, said it will make capital improvements this summer at some of its rendering plants so it can start pre-processing animal fat.

ConocoPhillips developed the process, and tested it in its Whitegate refinery in Cork, Ireland, in 2006. (Earlier post.) Tyson and ConocoPhillips have successfully tested the process of converting animal fat into renewable diesel.

Tyson said it has access to about 2.3 billion pounds per year of animal fat—the equivalent 20,000 barrels a day of feedstock.

ConocoPhillips last week announced it will establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University dedicated to developing technologies that produce biorenewable fuels. Robert C. Brown, the Iowa Farm Bureau Director of Iowa State’s Office of Biorenewables Programs, said ConocoPhillips is especially interested in converting biomass to fuel through fast pyrolysis. The resulting  bio-oil can be used as a heating oil or can be converted into transportation fuel at petroleum refineries. (Earlier post.)

Resources:

  • ConocoPhillips - Tyson Renewable Diesel Fact Sheet

Comments

Patrick

I was wondering which company would buy into thermal depolymerization.

This takes care of 1 day's worth of imported oil and subsequent ghg just 364 more to deal with.

SM

This may seem like one small step in the right direction.
Oh wait, let's do the math. That's 175 million gallon of fat oil, sounds like a lot. Compare that with 5 billion gallon of ethanol, or 116 billion gallons of gasoline ( actual usage figures in the US)

More like one micro step towards the right direction.

fstvette78

Defiantly something in the right direction. They should go one step further and get the fat from cosmetic surgery and liposuction.

Lunken

As long as there is a possible amount of money to make, why not??? That would make others to do the same, and as we all know by know: No solution can by itself replace our consumption of fossil fuels, but several solutions together might be able to. And what to produce depends on the local resource...

Michael

Seems like an important step until other alternatives can fill in. It shows another way to reduce waste. This can lead others in the industry to do the same.

Michael

BTW, has this been posted already here?

"Liphardt said that the solar power option represents a potentially significant boost for efforts to develop alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources. Microbes that can simultaneously harvest energy from several different sources may be better at producing biofuels than microbes that can only utilize a single energy source."

http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/PBD-proteorhodopsin.html

eric

Well to be a little fair, we ought to compare against the amount of diesel fuel used by the U.S. Which is on the order of 60 billion gallons.

So the "I can't believe it's not diesel" stuff they are going to make is still a drop in the bucket. Just in a somewhat smaller bucket.

K

This sound a little like what Conagra and Changing World Technologies said they were doing about three years ago. Their claims were much bolder and you couldn't get real facts.

At the time I owned Conagra stock and sold it. Today I went back and reviewed. CWT still seems to be either hype or stalled at tiny amounts. Conagra price hasn't moved.

ConocoPhillips and Tyson will do better. If nothing else it will get reduce a tremendous waste problem.

William

If you added in all the gastric bybass and surgilight proceedures you could give "cash back" on trimming down.
This would be the new rewards program for getting supersized,
if you haven't already joined the club. Kind of like a new
"PHAT PHARM" where they pay you to belly up to smorgasboard.

DS

They should go one step further and get the fat from cosmetic surgery and liposuction.
Wouldn't that violate the law of Physics about perpetual motion?

andrichrose

What a thoughly repulsive idea !

sulleny

Since when do we consider chickens renewable??

"They should go one step further and get the fat from cosmetic surgery and liposuction."

Yeah, and any excess can be used to make soap...

Tom

How about Asian Carp. There has to be some fat content there and then just run what’s left thru the HydroMax gasification process. How can you beat a feed stock that harvests itself? Just get a flat bottomed boat with a subwoofer and some deep base music.
Check out the video on the NPR web page.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5542199

Mark

What would be interesting to know is how much this amount of bio diesel compares to the amount of already used by Tyson. It would be nicer to hear that they are able to run a large part of their operation on 175 million gallons.

mark

biological diesel.

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