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

16 April 2007

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

April 16, 2007 in Biomass, Diesel | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)

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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.

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.

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

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...

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

What a thoughly repulsive idea !

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...

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

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.

biological diesel.

While we are at it. What is else is renewable that also has a lot of fat...hmm. lets look at the history books!

WHALES!!! yes, we can send out diesel boats to harvest Whales from the sea, we can use the fat to process into products such as oil for lamps and even cars! Fabulous!

I can then eat dolphin safe tuna while driving on whale fat!

As long as the whales stay in the water I would leave them alone. The Asian Carp are an ecological disaster in the making and Jump into the Boat. If you can get the whales to jump into the boat after invading and destroying an ecosystem then I would say they were fair game too.

This is a disgusting idea. I don't see how it is a step in the right direction. When you take into account the quantity of energy and the resources that it takes to produce animal fat, I think it probably ends up being worse than ethanol. Think about it: to make animal fat,you need, let's say, corn. You need to produce that corn, with the use of pesticides, water, and gasoline for transportation and processing. Then you need water to feed the chickens or the cows, and then again you need gasoline for transportation. Then you need to take into account all the people employed in such a complicated the chain, who commute to their jobs, and use gasoline...

I am not even going to discuss the fact that the idea itself is also disgusting in addition to being stupid.

I like the idea but they are expecting gov sub

at 1 dollar a gallon

I think your right Esteban, however its using a resource that is otherwise going to waste...One mans trash....But Whales are defiantly a solution we should not look past!

Just to be fair to whales etc. we should exploit inorganic chemistry too. How 'bout sqeezing a few million tons of crystalline lattice for the piezo effect?

The whale thing was a joke people! You guys have me worried ;-)


As said above, its about turning an expensive waste headache into a useful revenue stream. This would be worth at least $1 a gallon which makes it a $175 buisiness.

That would do me nicely thank you.

Mike

On the downside they will lose the vegan driver market :-)

Well I ran the numbers for fun. If we hunted the Blue Whale to extinction in just one year it would not even come close to the amount of fat needed for this project to run for one year...thats a lot of produce considering one blue whale processed would only yield about 12,000 gallons of bio diesel if processed via pyrolysis. Looks like my dream of running on whale oil is not gonna happen :(

Esteban,
Think of the animal fat as a byproduct of our liking for steak. In other words, they are not growing the cows for fuel, they are just recycling the byproducts of the steak industry. Since the byproduct is already there you might as well use it.

Other benefits include:
1. Replacing fossil fuel with all the associated environmental and security benefits.
2. Production of renewable, carbon-neutral fuel.
3. Fuel is fully miscible in existing fuel supplies, unlike ethanol and biodiesel.
4. Either keeping fat out of a landfill or out of another farm animals feed trough - That's right, the existing situation is pretty disgusting...

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