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Shell to build one of Europe’s biggest biofuels facilities for SAF and renewable diesel; 820,000 tonnes/year

Royal Dutch Shell will build an 820,000-tonnes-a-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery. Once built, the facility will be among the largest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste.

Shell expects the Rotterdam biofuels facility to start production in 2024. It will produce low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from waste in the form of used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products, using technology developed by Shell.

Shell will use bio-naphtha and light hydrocarbon gasses created during the formation process to create hydrogen. Hydrogen and high-pressure steam are then used in the production process to convert oils into fuels (hydroprocessing), helping to reduce the fuel’s carbon intensity.

A range of certified sustainable vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, will supplement the waste feedstocks until even more sustainable advanced feedstocks are widely available. The facility will not use virgin palm oil as feedstock.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could make up more than half of the 820,000-tonnes-a-year capacity, with the rest being renewable diesel. Shell can adjust this mix to meet customer demand.

A facility of this size could produce enough renewable diesel to avoid 2,800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million European cars off the roads (based on the annual driving distance of a UK/EU driver, assuming a medium-sized diesel car).

Shell expects to capture carbon emissions from the manufacturing process and store them in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea through the Porthos (Port of Rotterdam CO₂ Transport Hub and Offshore Storage) project. A final investment decision for Porthos is expected next year.

When built, Porthos will transport and store CO2 that is captured by various companies, including Shell. The project aims to capture up to 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year from 2024.

As part of its Powering Progress strategy, Shell is transforming its refineries (14 as of October 2020) into five energy and chemicals parks. Shell aims to reduce the production of traditional fuels by 55% by 2030 and provide more low-carbon fuels such as biofuels for road transport and aviation, and hydrogen. The Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam is the second park to be announced, following the launch in July of the Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland, in Germany.

The biofuels project complements Shell’s plans to build a 200-megawatt hydrogen electrolyzer in the Port of Rotterdam. Shell is working with partners to create a green hydrogen hub in the Port of Rotterdam. In July 2020, Shell and Eneco were awarded a tender for the 759-megawatt (MW) Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project in the North Sea. This renewable power can be used to produce green hydrogen at the planned 200 MW electrolyzer, which is intended to start operations by 2023 to produce about 50,000 – 60,000 kg of hydrogen a day.



Why bury/hide the CO2 or "carbon emissions" ? As with nuclear waste it's a "don't know what else to do with it" cop-out solution. Kicking the CO2 can down the road. What's happened to all those breakthrough research projects that have succeeded in efficiently producing low-cost, relatively green liquid hydrocarbon fuels from CO2 ? And NASA are able to convert CO2 to breathable oxygen in space and on Mars. Perverse priorities, people! What about here Down on Earth where we urgently need such technologies to survive as a species ?
1) "One-Step Process Converts CO2 Into Fuel" at:
2) "Scientists Change CO2 into Ethanol using the Sun"
Paul G


Renewable jet fuel is bio carbon not fossil carbon


Elon Musk caused a revolution with the introduction of BEVs. This revolution is not just a ripple but a gigantic wave which influences many aspects of daily life and diverse branches of industry. It would be fatal for humanity to return to "business as usual".
It is a human trait to cling to habits - good or bad - and avoid wherever possible inconvenient changes even though these are absolutely necessary and unavoidable. Industries' attempts to adhere to "yesterday" are numerous "Fata Morganas" and not really acceptable solutions; emission neutral fuels also called renewable bio fuels fit into this category.
When looking at traffic congested metropolitan areas, it makes no difference from where the emissions come from - natural or synthetic origin. The victims remain the same.
BEVs are not emissions free as far as their various component parts are concerned but certainly are so when in operation. However, those unavoidable emissions can be reduce to a minimum.
If we are not prepared to change our habits (because it may reduce our feelings of comfort) in an effort to improve our environment considerably then humanity has no future.
A basic fundamental issue of the law of thermodynamics states, neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form into the other or as Einstein stated E = mc². A Fata Morgana may try to convince you to irrational conclusions.
We should all be thankful to E. Musk for the revolution that he caused. I am.


BEVs are not emissions-free when in operations either. They produce non-exhaust PM emissions directly through tire, brake and road wear. In fact, some studies have concluded that BEVs may produce as many local PM2.5 emissions as equivalent ICEVs due to the higher curb weight of BEVs. Exhaust emissions of ICEVs have become extremely low; diesel ICEVs have been shown to have few PN in the concentrated exhaust than the ambient air of some cities.

According to CARB, California has offset far more GHG emissions from the use of renewable fuels there (under its "Low Carbon Fuel Standard") than from BEVs (

Furthermore, the International Energy Agency (IEA) just released a report (May 2021), "The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions," which illustrates the much higher mineral requirements for the manufacture of BEVs than ICEVs, typically six times as much ( Mining is inherently destructive to the environment.

The European Environmental Agency (EEA) issued report in 2018 that reveals the far higher "Human Toxicity Potential" of BEVs, largely from mining the mineral requirements for EV manufacturing (European Environmental Agency, "Electric vehicles from life cycle and circular economy perspectives, TERM 2018: Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) report." EEA Report No 13/2018, November 2018). Note especially Figure 6.2 on page 58 that even if BEVs are charged with 100% renewable electricity (i.e., eliminating the "In-use phase" segments of the BEV bars in the graph), human toxicity impacts are still over twice as high. Ecotoxicity is also higher even if BEVs are charged with 100% RE (Figure 6.3).

This was supported by a peer-reviewed study (Mendoza-Beltran et al. (2018), "When the background matters: Using scenarios from integrated assessment models in prospective life cycle assessment." Volume 24 Issue 2 Journal of Industrial Ecology pages: 436-439, Figure 4 or Figure 1 of corrected version ( Even in extremely clean future electric grid scenarios (denoted by dotted lines (generally corresponding to the RCP2.6 scenario in the IPCC AR5)), "Human Toxicity" remains ~3 times higher for BEV in the same electric grid mix scenario. Note also that "Particle matter formation" is higher for BEV than ICEV in all but the cleanest future grid mix scenarios, disputing the EV air quality benefits claims.

Forcing a transition to 100% BEV will almost certainly result in much higher contamination of toxic substances, both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic, in ground water, surface water, and soils near mining sites. BEVs will likely play a prominent role in the future vehicle mix regardless, but categorically excluding other vehicle technologies is a mistake and counterproductive, in my opinion.

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