Neste investing heavily in finding waste residues for its fuels

October 12, 2016 |

In Finland, Neste has become the world’s largest producer of renewable fuels from waste and residues as a result of long-term work. This pioneer in the field has an exceptionally extensive portfolio of raw materials compared to competitors. The portfolio is actively developed with the aim of being expanded even further.

A significant part of Neste’s research and development investments focus on research into new renewable raw materials. In particular, the company focuses on waste and residues that contain fat, which currently cover close to 80% of the raw materials of renewable products.

Neste has been collecting fat from meat and fish processing industry’s slaughter and gutting waste from a number of sources globally for several years. Other significant sources on a global scale are fat residues and used cooking oil from the food industry and restaurants.

Many residues from the production of vegetable oils are suitable for use as raw materials for Neste’s renewable products. Such residues include, for example, palm fatty acid distillate consisting of free fatty acids, i.e. inedible rancid fats that are removed from food industry oil to improve taste, color and odor.

Technical corn oil, on the other hand, is a residue of corn-based ethanol production and the related production process for animal feed, and is not suitable for human consumption. By utilizing the residues of vegetable oil production, Neste’s raw material sourcing does not compete with food production; rather, it offers an emission-reducing and sustainable use for processing residues that are produced in any case in the food industry.

Another raw material is tall oil pitch, a residue produced in connection with the production of tall oil in the pulp industry, which Neste has already been using as a biocomponent blended with fossil fuel. More extensive ways of utilizing it are being researched.

Algae oil is one of the most important renewable future raw materials, one which Neste has already been researching for a long time and made sourcing preparations by making conditional off-take agreements with suppliers of algae oil, among other measures. Microalgae that produces algae oil are not yet cultivated on an industrial scale due to high costs.

Neste: The Digest’s 2015 5 Minute Guide

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Category: Fuels

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