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Diamond Green Diesel to expand renewable fuel capacity using Ecofining technology from Honeywell

Petrochemical specialist Honeywell UOP announced that the Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, US, will expand its annual production capacity of renewable diesel from 10,000 barrels per day to 18,000 bpd, using Honeywell UOP’s Ecofining process technology.

Diamond Green Diesel, which is owned by Valero Energy Corp. and Darling Ingredients., is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US, according to Honeywell. The company plans to complete the expansion in the second quarter of 2018.

“The expansion of the Diamond Green Diesel facility is a testament to the viability and growth potential of renewable fuels,” said Dave Cepla, senior director of Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Energy and Chemicals business.

He added: “The technology and commercial potential of the Ecofining process have been proven, and the best evidence is the company’s decision to invest in expanded production capacity.”

The Diamond Green Diesel facility converts inedible oils and other waste feedstocks to produce Honeywell Green Diesel, a renewable fuel. Unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel produced using the Ecofining process is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used as a drop-in replacement in vehicles with no modifications, according to Honeywell.

The company said that it also features up to an 80% life cycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel from petroleum.

Fuel produced at the facility is qualified as “biomass-based diesel,” an advanced biofuel under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires a minimum volume of transportation fuels sold in the US to contain renewable fuel as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Honeywell UOP jointly developed the Ecofining process with Eni. It converts non-edible natural oils and animal fats to Honeywell Green Diesel, which offers improved performance over biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel. It features a cetane value of 80, compared with a cetane range of 40 to 60 found in diesel at the pump today.

In a statement, Honeywell said: “Cetane values indicate how quickly and completely diesel fuel will burn. Higher-cetane diesel fuel provides better engine performance with fewer emissions. High-cetane diesel can be blended with cheaper low-cetane diesel to meet transportation standards. Honeywell Green Diesel also offers excellent performance at cold or warm temperatures.”