Shell acquires exclusive development and licensing rights for SBI Bioenergy drop-in biofuels technology
Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its subsidiary Shell International Exploration and Production B.V, and SBI Bioenergy Inc. have reached an agreement granting Shell exclusive development and licensing rights for SBI’s biofuel technology. Canada-based SBI has a patented process that can convert a wide range of waste oils, greases and sustainable vegetable oils into lower carbon drop-ins for diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.
Under the agreement, Shell and SBI will work together to demonstrate the potential of the technology and, if successful, scale up for commercial application.
We are confident that Shell is the right industry partner to commercialize our low carbon intensity renewable fuel process. Working with Shell means that we have a partner with proven capabilities to investigate the potential this technology has for global application and that is something that is very exciting for us.—Inder Singh, SBI’s Founding President & CEO
SBI uses a continuous catalytic process that converts fat, oil or grease into renewable gasoline, diesel and jet fuel that can be dropped directly in to petroleum fuels. SBI’s drop-in products do not require blending or any modifications to engines or infrastructure.
SBI’s continuous flow process—“Process Intensification and Continuous Flow-Through Reaction” (PICFTR)—was originally developed for production of advanced pharmaceuticals and fine chemical intermediates. Compared to conventional reactor systems, PICFTR enables SBI to have a smaller physical footprint and the ability to quickly scale-up with much lower risk.
SBI’s proprietary catalysts, called “Continuous Green Catalysts” (CGC), are inexpensive, have a long active life, and are easy to rejuvenate. CGCs function in a way that does not require the addition of hydrogen, consumable chemicals, or water to the reaction, generate any waste stream.
The PICFT reactor is used in two stages to initially convert triglycerides and fatty acids into biodiesel and then into renewable fuels. During this process, a stream of pure glycerin is separated prior to the second stage and is protected from reducing to low-value fuel propane.
High quality biodiesel and pure glycerine are produced from triglycerides present in natural oils and fats by reacting with methanol and a proprietary CGC (catalyst 1) held in a PICFTR reactor in one single step. The process consumes no chemicals or water at any stage and produces no waste. This process is flexible in terms of the feedstock source of triglycerides and/or free fatty acids. SBI’s process can use 100% free fatty acids and mixtures with triglycerides in almost any ratio.
The biodiesel is then fed into a second-stage PICTFR reactor, holding another proprietary CGC (catalyst 2). Without adding hydrogen or other consumable chemicals, the biodiesel is stripped of its oxygen contents and long hydrocarbons molecules are generated. These hydrocarbons are spliced, re-stitched, and rearranged into a continuous stream of an array of blended hydrocarbon components, similar to petroleum-derived fuels. The hydrocarbon stream is then distilled and fractionated continuously and automatically into the various types of renewable fuels.
SBI can produce renewable diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel at various proportions
SBI has a promising new Canadian biofuels technology. This is a great opportunity for us to combine Shell’s innovation and commercialization capabilities with SBI’s technical expertise to investigate the potential this technology has for commercial application.—Andrew Murfin, General Manager, Advanced Biofuels for Shell
Shell believes biofuels are essential to decarbonize transport fuels because they represent one of the most practical, commercial and cost-efficient solution to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport fuels sector over the next twenty years. Raízen, a joint venture between Shell and the Brazilian company Cosan, is one of the world’s largest producer of sugar-cane ethanol. Shell is also developing advanced biofuels made with non-edible plants and crop waste.