|NExBTL is produced by a refinery-based process that hydrogenates fatty acids from fats or oils. Click to enlarge. Source: Neste Oil|
Neste Oil has commercially launched a blend of its NExBTL renewable diesel (bio-hydrocarbon fuel), branded as Neste Green diesel, in Finland. Neste Oil guarantees that Neste Green diesel contains at least 10%. Neste Green is suitable for all diesel motors, according to the company.
Using the NExBTL component improves the air quality in cities due to reduced particle emissions and reduces also greenhouse gas emissions. Neste Green diesel will first become available in the metropolitan region around Helsinki after which distribution will be extended to other parts of Finland on a phased basis.
Neste Green diesel is a mixture of traditional fossil diesel and Neste Oil’s renewable NExBTL component. Currently the EU requires a bio content of 2%. We are committed to our role as a pioneer of the renewable fuel industry, so our product has a bio content of 10% minimum. According to current plans, this will only be required in year 2020.—Simo Honkanen, VP Renewable Fuels, Neste Oil
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV), Helsinki City Transport (HKL), environmental technology group Proventia and Neste Oil have already teamed up to test 100% NExBTL in the Helsinki metropolitan area public transportation. The aim of the cooperation is to promote the use of biofuels and improve the quality of city air. (Earlier post.)
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.
Neste Oil’s NExBTL technology is flexible in terms of possible feedstocks. NExBTL’s raw materials currently include palm oil, rapeseed oil, and animal fats. Neste Oil’s aim is to move on to using only inedible feedstocks. The medium-term goal is to increase the proportion of inedible feedstocks to 60% in 10 years.
The bulk of Neste Oil’s current R&D effort is focused on developing new biofuel raw materials and making use of these non-food sources as soon as possible. Research is being carried out with more than 20 universities and research institutions around the world, looking into a range of potential raw materials. Neste Oil has already tested jatropha oil, for example, and is developing ways of making use of forestry harvesting waste and algae.
NExBTL renewable diesel has about 37-66% lower greenhouse gas emissions over its entire lifecycle compared to fossil diesel, according to the company: 1.3-2.4 t CO2 per tonne of NExBTL (depending upon vegetable oil production, processing and transportation) compared to 3.8 t (CO2 per tonne of fossil diesel. NExBTL can be blended with conventional diesel fuel or used neat and is suitable for all diesel engines.
|Neste and Stora Enso have a joint venture to develop BtL technology for the production of synthetic diesel from wood-based materials. Click to enlarge.|
Neste Oil currently operates its first NExBTL renewable diesel unit at the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland. A second NExBTL plant is under construction at Porvoo and a third unit in Singapore (earlier post). Neste Oil intends to become the global leader in renewable diesel.
Neste is also working with Stora Enso, an integrated paper, packaging, and forest products company, to develop Biomass-to-Liquids technology for the production of synthetic diesel from wood residues. (Earlier post.)
Neste Oil General Investor Presentation (April 2008)