Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

metal catalyst is used, which also helps to reduce wild naphtha formation. I believe that the HEFA unit is particularly significant because it represents a new phase in what we, as an industry, have learned and are learning. In the past, our focus might have been on processing crude oils but we are now also developing the ability to take very different feedstocks, which are also highly challenging and variable, and learning how to clean them up, and process them robustly and economically in order to produce high-quality lower-carbon fuels. In addition, we believe that the unit is going to have the lowest carbon intensity of any HEFA unit worldwide, which I think is very exciting. This is because it is going to use partially renewable hydrogen: we will produce hydrogen in a new hydrogen plant that will be powered by the process’ residual gases, which originate from renewable sources. Not only that, but the unit will also have its CO₂ captured using ADIP ULTRA, which is Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ solvent technology for capturing CO₂ from high-pressure process streams. This will then be transported via the Porthos pipeline for storage under the North Sea. Pathway 3: Store the remaining emissions The Port of Rotterdam CO₂ transport hub and offshore storage (Porthos) project (see Figure 5 ) is the Netherlands’ first CCS undertaking. Shell will be one of four companies to supply CO₂ to Porthos’ collective pipeline. For Pernis refinery, which will route CO₂ emissions from the Shell Gasification Process and the Shell Renewable Refining Process unit to the pipeline, this would reduce the site’s emissions by some 25%. The CO₂ will be compressed and piped 20 km offshore to an underground storage facility 3 km below the seabed. The facility will store 2-2.5 Mt/y of CO₂. The final investment decision will be made in 2022 and the project will be operational by 2024. Throughout the 15-year life of the Porthos project, the reduction in CO₂ emissions at the Pernis site will be equivalent to about 1.15 Mt/y. Another piece of the jigsaw of solutions is Shell’s involvement in the Rotterdam Clean Energy Hub and the production of green hydrogen. Shell will take renewable power from the Hollandse Kust Noord wind farm, which can










Storage location

Figure 5 The Porthos project

selected the process, which is available to non-Shell customers under licence from Shell Catalysts & Technologies, after an extensive evaluation of the currently available technologies. All of the HEFA units that will be built in Shell Energy and Chemicals Parks will use the Shell Renewable Refining Process. The unit is expected to start production in 2024 and has the capacity to produce enough renewable diesel to avoid 2.8 Mt/y of CO₂ emissions, which is equivalent to taking a million European cars off the road. It will also generate renewable naphtha and SAF. Furthermore, the unit will process 100% biofeeds. These will include waste animal fats, cooking oil, and vegetable oil, which will arrive by barge. Crucially, all these feeds will be sustainably sourced; the unit will not process crude palm oil because of its associated sustainability issues. These are challenging feeds for a HEFA plant to process economically, as they require considerable pretreatment, and here we will be using a mix of technologies that have been around for a while, and also novel ones. Through continuous R&D, the Shell Renewable Refining Process is likely to evolve to process increasingly advanced and sustainable feedstocks. The existing technology will provide filtration and the removal of metals and other impurities, whereas the novelty is in the HEFA plant first and second stages. The first stage incorporates hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation, in which poisons, carbon monoxide, and CO₂ are removed to enhance the performance of the second stage. Hydroisomerisation takes place in the second stage to produce products with the right flow properties. In this final stage, a superior noble


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