Phillips 66 and Renewable Energy Group, Inc. announced that planning is underway for the construction of a large-scale renewable diesel plant on the US West Coast.
The plant would utilize REG’s proprietary Bio-Synfining technology for the production of renewable diesel fuel. Planned feedstocks include a mix of waste fats, oils and greases, including regionally-sourced vegetable oils, animal fats and used cooking oil.
The Bio-Synfining process, protected by 38 active and pending patents, utilizes a wide variety of feedstocks that are turned into high quality renewable fuels. The first step in this process is pretreatment, which removes contaminants to create a pure feedstock for the reactor section.
The pretreated feedstock is charged to a high-pressure reactor system in which the renewable molecules are transformed into clean-burning saturated hydrocarbons. High-pressure hydrogen and a patented catalyst configuration are used to affect the chemical transformation by saturating unstable double bonds (hydrogenation), reacting with oxygenates of the fatty acid molecules to form hydrocarbons and water (hydrodeoxygenation), and removing sulfur molecules (hydrodesulfurization) from the intermediate renewable hydrocarbons.
The intermediate hydrocarbons are very pure paraffins—these are then isomerized to reconfigure the molecules into branched paraffins (isoparaffins) to yield low cloud point clean fuels that are characteristic of the process.
The final step in this process is classic refining; the products are distilled into three main products: renewable hydrocarbon diesel, renewable naphtha and renewable liquefied petroleum gas.
The new facility would be constructed adjacent to the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery in Washington state. The Ferndale Refinery offers existing infrastructure, including tank storage, a dock, and rail and truck rack access.
This announcement follows more than a year of collaboration between Phillips 66 and REG related to site selection and preliminary engineering. The companies expect to make a final investment decision in 2019. If approved, production at the new facility is currently premised to start in 2021.
REG owns and operates 13 biomass-based diesel refineries, with a combined effective production capacity of 565 million gallons per year. This includes REG Geismar, a 75-million-gallon nameplate capacity plant located in Louisiana that was the first renewable diesel plant built in North America.
REG’s 100-million gallon per year REG Grays Harbor biodiesel plant, the largest biorefinery in the REG fleet, is also located in Washington state.
Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, the company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally.