Neste Oil is the first company in the world to begin using tall oil pitch as a feedstock for refining into traffic fuel. Until now, it has not been possible to use tall oil pitch, a residue produced by tall oil refiners, as a commercial-scale feedstock for fuel refining purposes.
Neste Oil successfully tested tall oil pitch in commercial refinery operations in March-April this year and is now ready to begin using it on a continuous basis. Fuel refined from tall oil pitch will be distributed to service stations in Finland this spring.
The introduction of tall oil pitch for fuel refining is a continuation of Neste Oil’s achievements in incresingly using waste- and residues-based inputs for biofuel production. The company doubled its use of waste- and residues-based inputs in 2012, and the volume of renewable diesel refined from these materials was equivalent to the annual fuel consumption of roughly 740,000 cars last year, assuming that 100% renewable diesel is used. Neste Oil's original pioneering inventions and patents covering the use of tall oil as a biofuel feedstock date back to the 1990s.
"Thanks to our research work, we have been able to use tall oil pitch fractions in refining operations for some time and the recent trial run has now shown that we have the capability to make use of this material on a large-scale basis. This represents a further step in our strategy of extending our feedstock base and increasing our use of waste and residues," says Lars Peter Lindfors, Neste Oil's Senior Vice President, Technology.
Neste Oil aims to use significant quantities of tall oil pitch in the future. Tall oil refiners in Finland produce around 100,000 tons of by-product tall oil pitch annually.
Neste Oil is currently the world's only biofuel supplier capable of producing premium-quality renewable diesel on an industrial scale from more than 10 different types of feedstocks. The company is steadily increasing its use of waste and residues and focusing its research on other non-food inputs and raw materials that can reduce the amount of land needed for energy-related use and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: Cleantech Finland