Renewable Oils & Fats
There is considerable interest for the use of biological derived fuels to be employed as motor fuel components. The reason for this is two fold:
- it enables countries that have a lack of crude resources, but available arable land to reduce their dependence on oil imports;
- the overall lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions for biofuels is more favorable than for oil derived fuels.
There is a noteworthy tendency toward the use of diesel fuel. While diesel engines make a lower contribution to CO2 emissions than gasoline engines, this can be further improved with the use of biodiesel as an additive. Biodiesel is composed of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) which are produced via the catalytic esterification of vegetable oils. IFP Energies nouvelles has developed a fixed-bed, heterogeneous catalyzed process to produce FAME and glycerol from vegetable oil and methanol.
Axens has pioneered the first-generation biodiesel market which involves vegetable oils through transesterification process. The limitation of biodiesel blending regarding cold flow properties has been overcome with the second renewable lipids upgrading routes in which Axens is active. It consists in hydropocessing renewable lipids for the production of high quality, paraffinic bio-jet fuel and biodiesel. For that purpose Axens is marketing its VeganTM process.