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NextChem partners with Saola Energy to produce renewable diesel

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Italian energy transition company NextChem has teamed up with US Saola Energy to license technology for the production of renewable diesel from vegetable oils and residual fats.

The two companies will combine forces to deliver a comprehensive solution. NextChem will act as licensor of the combined technology, providing clients with engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as training, to ensure the deployment of the technology.

Saola Energy’s technology consists of a hydrotreatment step, followed by isomerisation, to produce high-quality renewable diesel fuel from oils and fats. The technology is able to process a wide range of feedstocks at an industrial scale.

Using a modularised approach, the process can be used for capacities as low as 10 million gallons per year. The integration of the technology into existing biorefineries will enable the best economics via the valorisation of by-products.

While biodiesel and renewable diesel can both be produced from residual fats and vegetable oils, the two fuels are developed differently. Biodiesel is produced through transesterification, while renewable diesel is produced through the processes of hydrotreatment and isomerisation.

Renewable diesel can be used as a drop-in fuel that meets petroleum fuel standard EN 590 and ASTM D975 standard. It is able to overcome blend limits that biodiesel can face, and is currently used in existing diesel engines without constraint.

“NextChem is growing as a worldwide key player in the sector of the technologies for Energy Transition,” commented Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of NextChem. “The US marketplace is a tremendous opportunity for us to disclose the Maire Tecnimont Group [NextChem parent company] enormous knowhow in the engineering innovation processes.

“The partnership with Saola Energy is of great relevance to us because it offers to the large spectrum of feedstock processors a profitable technology with the possibility of receiving superb assistance and services.”

“We are excited to collaborate with NextChem on licensing our proven technologies worldwide,” added Adam Belyamani, COO of Saola Energy. “With this agreement in place, we are able to supply customers with a complete solution for an integrated renewable diesel facility. This will provide a very attractive solution in the marketplace for those parties that are interested in small or large scale biorefineries.”