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100% NExBTL Renewable Diesel in Use in Helsinki Buses

Neat (100%) NExBTL renewable diesel from Neste Oil is now in use in Helsinki, Finland in Helsingin Bussiliikenne buses as part of a collaborative trial started last autumn by the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV), Helsinki City Transport (HKL), Proventia, and Neste Oil. (Earlier post.) The aim of the partnership is to promote the use of biofuels and improve the quality of city air.

Previously, the buses ran on a blend of 30% NExBTL diesel and 70% fossil diesel. Now, for the first time, pure NExBTL diesel is being used in vehicles running in city traffic.

The 100% NExBTL diesel is being introduced in close cooperation with Scania. The aim of the project is to study the decrease in emissions and the long-term effects of pure NExBTL diesel on a bus engine.

Neste Oil’s refinery-based proprietary NExBTL technology is based on the high-pressure hydrogenation of fatty acids. The product is a synthetic diesel fuel, free of oxygen and aromatic compounds. Side products include propane and gasoline. The process can use a flexible input of any vegetable oil or animal fat to produce a product with characteristics similar to Fischer-Tropsch output.

NExBTL diesel generates less particulate and nitric oxide emissions than conventional diesel. In the previous test using pure NExBTL diesel reduced nitric oxide emissions by about 15% and particulate emissions by about 30% compared to fossil diesel. The greenhouse gas emissions for the entire life cycle of the fuel using sustainable raw materials are reduced by about 50% compared to fossil diesel. The buses involved in the project will be subject to exhaust gas measurements at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

Neste Oil is building two NExBTL Renewable diesel production plants at its the Porvoo refinery in Finland. Both are based on the NExBTL production technology developed by Neste Oil. The first plant was completed in summer 2007 and the second one will be completed in 2009. The annual production capacity of each plant will be 170,000 tons.

Neste Oil plans to invest approximately €550 million in building a plant in Singapore to produce NExBTL Renewable Diesel. The plant will have a design capacity of 800,000 t/a, making it the largest facility producing diesel fuel from renewable feedstocks anywhere. Construction of the Singapore plant will begin in the first half of 2008, and the facility is due to be completed by the end of 2010. (Earlier post.)


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