Eni to convert Italian oil refinery to renewable diesel production

September 24, 2012 |

In Italy, Eni announced a $125 million project to convert its Venice Refinery into a “bio-refinery”, producing renewable diesel using the Ecofining technology developed and patented by Eni.

The Green Refinery process will start with an initial conversion of existing facilities which will be launched in the second quarter of 2013 and completed by the end of that year. Until the start of the changeover, the refinery will continue to produce using to traditional methods. Biofuel production will start from January 1 2014 and will grow progressively as the new facilities enter into operation. The new facilities to be built under the project will be completed in the first half of 2015.

The new green plant will maintain the Venice site in an economically sustainable industrial operation over the long term, with low environmental impact.

The activities of the Green Refinery will be associated with the construction of a new Logistics Centre.

More on Ecofining

Honeywell’s UOP and Eni SpA jointly developed the UOP/Eni 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.

A visualization of the Ecofining system

Unlike biodiesel, Green Diesel is a drop-in replacement for traditional diesel. Chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel, Honeywell Green Diesel can be used in any proportion in existing fuel tanks without infrastructure changes.

In May, UOP announced an agreement to license the Ecofining technology to Emerald Biofuels to produce Honeywell Green Diesel at an 85 million gallons per year plant that will be engineered by International Alliance Group (IAG).

Emerald is an Illinois-based transportation fuel company that focuses on building renewable diesel refineries that produce environmentally friendly transportation fuels at prices competitive to petroleum-based fuels.  will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project.

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