• Can we use biofeedstocks without co-processing them with conventional crudes to produce drop-in fuels?




    Biofeedstocks without co-processing them cannot be used with conventional fuels for aviation fuels need to abide by ASTM D7566 and ASTM D1655  standards, which puts restriction on the blending and co-processing. For non-aviation fuels blending or co-processing can be done, keeping the stability factors on very high mode, monitoring need to be done periodically.



  • Joris Mertens, KBC (A Yokogawa Company), joris.mertens@kbc.global

    Raw bio feedstocks cannot be used as fuel in road transportation. Lipids (vegetable oils/animal fats) need to be either transesterified to FAME or hydrotreated to paraffinic diesel (HVO/HEFA).
    The use of HVO/HEFA and FAME as low carbon bunker fuel are seriously considered as alternatives to ammonia or hydrogen. There are some technical issues that can be addressed (such as viscosity, NOx). Considering that large ship engines are designed to process heavy residual fractions, it should even be possible to process untreated vegetable oils.  However, ultimately the use of lipids as bunker fuel (either FAME, HEFA or straight vegetable oils) is likely to be limited due to availability and competition with road diesel and SAF (sustainable aviation fuel).
    Sugar, another bio feedstock, also needs processing (for example, to ethanol).

    The bio feedstock that is most ample in supply is lignocellulosic material (such as forestry/agricultural waste). However, conversion of lignocellulosic feed to higher value fuels or chemicals requires more complex technologies than hydrotreater coprocessing.



  • Mark Schmalfeld, BASF - Refining Catalysts, mark.schmalfeld@basf.com

    Bio based materials is a very large category which could include everything from ethanol, purified vegetable based oils, used cooking oils, fat by-products to bio based pyoils using wood or lignin feedstocks. The basic answer is yes, there are some bio based materials that can be used to produce drop-in fuels and a major example is the use of ethanol as a blend material for fuels.

    However, great care must be used as you proceed to ensure it meets the fuel requirements and has the chemical stability properties required. A key to evaluate is the level of processing the specific bio based material has already undergone and the final produced quality specifications for the product. Is it already processed in a manner to produce a fuel blending stock or was it processed with a target to be a refinery co-processing feedstock? Understanding the answer to this question is needed to plan how to best use the bio based material.