UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced that Italy’s largest energy company, Eni S.p.A., will produce renewable diesel using Honeywell’s UOP/Eni Ecofining™ process at its facility in Venice.
Innovative project marks first conversion of a process unit producing petroleum-based fuel into a unit for renewable fuel.
Brussels, Belgium., Nov. 15, 2012 — UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, recentyly announced that Italy’s largest energy company, Eni S.p.A., will produce renewable diesel using Honeywell’s UOP/Eni Ecofining™ process at its facility in Venice.
In a difficult environment for the European refining industry, Eni S.p.A. decided to invest in an innovative project that would produce renewable fuel at its Venice refinery. Eni will retrofit existing equipment at its facility, currently being used to produce petroleum-based diesel, to produce renewable diesel.
“This project truly demonstrates the flexibility of the UOP/Eni Ecofining process. Not only does it produce a drop-in fuel replacement for end-users, but refiners can operate the process by simply modifying existing assets that might otherwise go unused,” said Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit. “We applaud Eni S.p.A. for its innovative approach and vision to provide new life for aging assets in the form of a renewable fuel production unit. We look forward to working with Eni S.p.A on this project, which supports the European Union’s mandate for increased reliance on renewable energy.”
Eni’s decision to convert its assets for biofuel production will support local emissions regulations. The European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive mandates that, by 2020, 20 percent of its countries’ energy must come from renewable sources, and greenhouse gases must be reduced by 20 percent. Eni plans to eventually convert its entire Venice refinery into a renewable diesel production facility.
The UOP Eni Ecofining process produces a drop-in replacement for traditional diesel. Unlike biodiesel, it is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used in any proportion in existing fuel tanks without engine or infrastructure changes.
This renewable diesel, which Honeywell calls Honeywell Green Diesel™ offers a lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of as much as 80 percent compared with diesel derived from petroleum. It also offers high energy density and excellent performance at cold or warm temperatures. The fuel can be used as a high-quality blending stock for refiners seeking to enhance or expand their diesel pool.
Eni will produce more than 100 million gallons per year of renewable diesel at its Venice facility beginning in 2014. In addition to technology licensing, Honeywell’s UOP and its affiliates will provide basic engineering, specialty equipment and training for the project.
Honeywell’s UOP and Eni jointly developed the UOP/Eni Ecofining process, which uses hydroprocessing technology to convert non-edible natural oils and animal fats to a fully fungible renewable diesel. The fuel offers improved performance over biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel, including a high cetane value of 80 compared with a cetane range of 40 to 60 found in diesel at the pump today. Cetane value is the measure of the combustion quality of diesel. Higher cetane values help diesel engines operate more effectively.
In addition to the UOP/Eni Ecofining technology, since launching its renewable energy and chemicals business, Honeywell’s UOP commercialized the UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process under a contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ for the U.S. military.
Honeywell’s UOP partnered with Ensyn Corp. to form a joint venture, Envergent Technologies LLC, to offer RTP¬™ rapid thermal processing technology and equipment for the production of renewable heat, power and transportation fuels. RTP technology is currently in use in seven commercial biomass processing plants in the U.S. and Canada.
Eni S.p.A. is an integrated energy company, operating in the oil and gas, petrochemicals, and electricity generation markets. Based in Rome, the company operates in 85 countries around the world.