Issue: Aug 2013


100 million Gal/yr biodiesel unit fires up in 2014



100 million Gal/yr biodiesel unit fires up in 2014

by Bob Brooks

Some 100 million gallons of biodiesel a year is expected to flow out of a refinery built as a partnership between ENI petroleum, which has 85 refineries worldwide and UOP, one of the world’s largest providers of refining technology and hardware, they will be using technology developed by Ensyn Technologies of Montreal Canada. First production will be at ENI’s Venice, Italy refinery. UOP indicated in 2012 that the plan is to produce 800 million gal/yr by 2017 for the U.S market and another 800 million gal/yr off-shore. Key qualities of the new fuel are GHG emissions reduced 80% vs. petroleum and cetane of 80. Developers of the technology believe that changing over existing refineries will be easier and less expensive than for many of the other proposed new fuels. In a report dated November, 2012, UOP and ENI announced plans to start production of RTP(rapid thermal processing) diesel fuel initially at ENI’S Venice, Italy refinery at the rate of 100 million/gal/yr. Although the report was made available in November 2012, it was not widely circulated until recently. Data in the report indicates the RTP process was initially developed by Ensyn Technologies, Montreal, The Ensyn RTP (rapid thermal process) diesel fuel is derived from pulverized organic material rapidly heated by the RTP process by mixing at 500°C with special sand which is said to produce a crude oil in less than two seconds. After the sand is separated, the crude bio oil is refined followed by hydroprocessing to increase its cetane level. Used as motor fuel, the RTP fuel is said to produce exhaust GHG emissions levels nearly 80% less than petroleum. The near term Euro requirement is to cut average GHG CO2 from all energy sources by 20% as of 2020. Ensyn Technologies is said to have established relations with other firms (besides UOP and ENI). Its history of more than 30 years of research and development for the petroleum industry expands its customer base well beyond that of UOP and ENI, and we can expect more refineries using the same technology in the near future. The technology is expected to be used in the future to make gasoline and JetA, with the added advantage of low GHG emissions. Unavailable for this report is logistical information about gathering, processing, transporting and cost of the organic raw material which will surely be sourced from different parts of the world. In order to keep pace with the huge quantities of organic raw material needed, all aspects of plant growth and yield will take on new importance. It will also be noticed that what the RTP system achieves in less than two seconds is about the same as organic conversion to petroleum in the ground for thousands or millions of years.

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