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Making renewable diesel and biopropane from vegetable oil

By Gerald Ondrey |

Before the end of 2016, Neste Oil Oyj’s (Espoo, Finland; www.nesteoil.com) refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands will start producing 30,000–40,000 ton/yr of biopropane. The feedstock is a sidestream from the company’s 800,000-ton/yr renewable diesel-fuel plant. The refinery, which started up in 2011, makes renewable diesel fuel from vegetable oils and residue fats using Neste Oil’s NEXBTL (next generation biomass-to-liquid) process. Up to now, the propane side product has been sold as fuel to a power station. The €60-million addition to the refinery will utilize a new separation process — developed together with Neste Jacobs Oy (Porvoo, Finland; www.nestejacobs.com) — to recover and purify the biopropane, thereby adding a new renewable product to Neste Oil’s product portfolio. Neste Jacobs was selected (in September) as the EPCM (engineering, procurement and construction management) contractor for the project. Neste Jacobs has also done the basic engineering for the project. In the proprietary NEXBTL process (flowsheet), renewable feedstock (vegetable oils and residue fats) are hydrotreated into renewable diesel fuel. Unlike alternative renewable diesel processes, NEXBTL does not generate…
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