Honeywell UOP renewable jet fuel technology selected by Petrixo for large new Gulf biorefinery
Tue 22 July 2014 – Dubai-based Petrixo Oil & Gas has selected Honeywell UOP’s renewable jet fuel process technology to produce renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel at a new refinery to be built in the nearby UAE emirate of Fujairah. The technology is expected to be capable of processing around 500,000 tonnes of renewable feedstocks, although the source or type of feedstock to be used has not been revealed. Petrixo announced earlier this year that it will invest $800 million to build the new refinery, which will have a design capacity of one million tonnes, and claims it will be the first commercial-scale renewable jet production facility outside of North America. The biorefinery is to be built on a 460,000 square metre area of land within the Fujairah Free Zone and the Port of Fujairah and is expected to produce a variety of biofuel products for the Gulf and international markets.
Capable of processing a variety of renewable feedstocks, the technology produces Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and Honeywell Green Diesel, and is designed to provide flexibility to adjust the feedstock mix depending on parameters such as cost and availability. The company says the technology also enables the adoption of newer-generation feedstocks, such as oils derived from algae and halophytes, as scalable supply chains for these lipids develop.
Research into salt-water tolerant halophytes is being carried in Abu Dhabi by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Both Masdar and Honeywell UOP are founding members, along with Boeing and Etihad Airways, of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC). Earlier this year, SBRC scientists announced they had found the desert plants can produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks (see article). At the same time, Etihad, Boeing and Masdar were joined by fuel companies Total and Takreer in setting up a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in the United Arab Emirates called BIOjet Abu Dhabi (see article).
Petrixo says it has incorporated a consortium of major international companies and financial institutions to set up the project but, apart from Honeywell UOP, no names have been released so far.
Blended up to 50% with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell claims its drop-in Green Jet Fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65-85%. Its technology is being used to produce green diesel at a commercial-scale facility in Louisiana, United States. Green, or renewable, diesel, which is not the same as biodiesel, is being investigated by standards body ASTM International as a potential pathway for conversion to renewable jet fuel.
“UOP’s renewable process technologies produce real fuels, rather than fuel additives such as biodiesel, that fit seamlessly into existing fuel supply chains,” said Veronica May, Vice President & General Manager of UOP’s Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit.