Decarbonisation Technology - November 2023 Issue

Co-processing Hydrotreatment Vegan Hydrotreatment BioTfuel Gasication & FT Bio-TCat Flash pyrolysis

Renewable & low carbon fuels

Renewables oil & fats


Ethanol Diesel & gasoline

Bio-based chemicals

Jetanol Alcohol to jet Atol Ethanol dehydration BioButtery BioButadiene production

Solid biomass

1G ethanol


Futurol Enzymatic conversion 2G sugars Enzymatic conversion







rWGS CO production

Gasel Fischer-Tropsch

DMX/Advamine Carbon capture

Ethanol C/C sugars

Carbon dioxide

Figure 1 Axens technologies for renewable/low-carbon fuels and bio-based chemicals

hydrocracking, and fluid catalytic cracking are all mature, established technologies that can be readily adapted to co-process varying amounts of renewable feedstocks. As an increasing diversity of renewable and waste-derived feedstocks are considered, additional investments in technologies not widely used in conventional refineries, such as gasification, pyrolysis, and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, will be required. We will now detail the production schemes depending on the feedstock:  Renewable vegetable oils and animal fats Vegetable oils and animal fats (lipids) can be hydrotreated to produce HEFA suitable for use as renewable diesel and renewable kerosene for SAF. Over the last 10 years, many new hydrotreating plants have been built, and 10 operating units (some operating, some under construction, and some starting up soon) use the Vegan hydrotreating process licensed by Axens (see Figure 2 ). The lipids are hydrotreated to remove oxygen and other contaminants, followed by a hydroisomerisation step to upgrade the linear paraffins. Vegan technology can be easily tuned to match the required boiling range and cold flow properties of the desired product, allowing operators to balance the production

of renewable diesel and/or SAF according to market demand. Hydrotreatment is a mature technology in widespread commercial use in refineries. Some refiners have opted to co-process renewable feedstocks in their existing hydroprocessing unit as an economically viable short-term solution with only minor modifications, but still with the expertise needed from a licensing company to properly assess the quality and quantity of feedstock to be processed with the associated impact on unit performance. Others have retrofitted those hydroprocessing units or invested in a new unit to process only renewable feedstocks. Interest in hydrotreatment may have plateaued in Europe, mainly due to the cap on

Pretreated renewable oils & fats


SAF renewable diesel




Figure 2 Vegan hydrotreatment to produce HEFA for renewable fuels


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