Eni starts production at new biorefinery

Article by Amanda Doyle

ENI’s new biomass treatment unit (BTU) has begun production at its site in Gela, Italy.

It will use up to 100% of the biomass from used cooking oils and fats from fish and meat processing as a feedstock. It will also use castor oil produced from castor plants grown on semi-desert land in Tunisia, replacing palm oil. This will be used to produce biodiesel, bio-naphtha, bioLPG and bio-jet. The plant has a production capacity of up to 750,000 t/y.

The biorefinery began construction in early 2020 and was completed mostly on schedule despite the pandemic. The BTU launch marks the completion of the second phase in transforming the industrial site at Gela from a petrochemical facility to a sustainable production facility. The site already includes a waste-to-fuel pilot plant to make bio-oil and bio-methane from municipal solid waste, and a plant to produce biofuels from biological origin raw materials.

Eni plans to double production capacity at its biorefineries to 2m t by 2024, rising to 5–6m t by 2050 as part of its plans to completely decarbonise its products and processes by 2050.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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