Diamond Green Diesel starts up, largest advanced biofuels facility goes online

May 15, 2014 |

Diamond_Green_DieselDiamond Green Diesel using UOP/Eni Ecofining process technology to produce more than 130 million gallons per year of renewable diesel

In Illinois, UOP, a Honeywell company, announced that Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, has started up, using the UOP/Eni Ecofinin process technology.

The Norco, Louisiana, facility, which was mechanically completed last year, converts inedible oils and other waste feedstocks to produce high-quality renewable diesel, also known as Honeywell Green Diesel™. Unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel produced using the UOP process is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used as a drop-in replacement in vehicles with no modifications. Renewable diesel produced using the Ecofining process also features up to an 80 percent lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel from petroleum.

The facility, a joint venture of Darling International Inc. and Diamond Alternative Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Valero Energy, achieved all of its performance and quality targets.

“The great thing about the renewable technology,” UOP renewables division GM Veronica May told the Digest, “is that it is built on UOP core design principles, which helped this plant come on spec relatively quickly, and the owners are pleased. In addition, we had a core group of highly expwrienced people on the owner side, both operations and engineering, and that was extremely helpful in this start-up. UOP has 100 people dedicated to starting units up, so we are able to bring resources to bear — but I can’t overemphasize the preparedness brought to this project on all sides.”

UOP and Eni SpA jointly developed the Ecofining process, which uses hydroprocessing technology to convert non-edible natural oils and animal fats to Honeywell Green 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. Diesel with high cetane can be blended with low-cetane diesel to help meet transportation requirements. Honeywell Green Diesel also offers high energy density and excellent performance at cold or warm temperatures.

In addition to Ecofining technology, the company has commercialized the UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process, which was originally developed under a contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable jet fuel for the U.S. military. Honeywell Green Jet Fuel produced by this process technology can be blended seamlessly with petroleum-based fuel. When used in up to a 50 percent blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight.

UOP is also a partner with Ensyn Corp. in Envergent Technologies LLC, which offers RTP rapid thermal processing technology and equipment for the production of renewable heat, power and transportation fuels.

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