Italy’s largest energy company Eni is producing renewable fuels at its refinery in Gela using the Ecofining technology jointly developed with UOP.
The production of biofuels at the Gela and Venice refineries is helping Eni meet the growing demand for alternative fuels in Europe.
UOP provided technology licensing, basic engineering, specialty equipment, catalysts and training for the project in Gela, which has an annual production capacity of 750,000 tons of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel per year.
In 2014, Eni also converted its refinery in Venice to biofuels, producing up to 360,000 tons per year of biofuels from used vegetable oils, used cooking oils (UCO) and animal fats.
Eni currently converts about 25% of Italy’s recovered UCO to biofuels, supporting European emissions regulations while improving utilisation of existing refinery assets.
Venice was the first example in the world of conversion of a conventional refinery into a biorefinery.
“To meet increasing demand for biofuels in Europe, Eni converted its existing Gela facility to a biorefinery using the Ecofining technology jointly developed by Eni and UOP,” said Ben Owens, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “The company saw this as an effective way to further support the growth of biofuels and the European Union’s policies for renewable energy.”
The Ecofining process converts non-edible natural oils, animal fats and other waste feedstocks to renewable diesel, chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel, which can be used as a drop-in replacement in vehicles with no modifications.
Ecofining technology also can be used to produce jet fuel. Honeywell Green Jet Fuel produced by this process can be blended seamlessly with petroleum-based fuel. When used in up to a 50% blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight.
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