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Diamond Green Diesel to almost double renewable diesel capacity at LA facility

Honeywell UOP has announced that the Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana (LA), will expand its annual production capacity of renewable diesel, from 10 000 barrels per day (bpd) to 18 000 bpd, using Honeywell UOP's Ecofining process technology.

Jointly owned by Valero Energy Corp. and Darling Ingredients Inc., Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the United States (US). The company plans to complete the expansion in the second quarter of 2018.

– The expansion of the Diamond Green Diesel facility is a testament to the viability and growth potential of renewable fuels. The technology and commercial potential of the Ecofining process have been proven, and the best evidence is the company’s decision to invest in expanded production capacity, said Dave Cepla, Senior Director of Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Energy and Chemicals Business in a statement.

The Diamond Green Diesel facility converts inedible oils and other waste feedstocks to produce “Honeywell Green Diesel”, a high-quality renewable fuel. Unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel produced using the Ecofining process is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used as a drop-in replacement in vehicles with no modifications. According to Honeywell, it also features up to an 80-percent lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared with petroleum-derived diesel.

Fuel produced at the facility is qualified as “Biomass-Based Diesel,” an Advanced Biofuel under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires a minimum volume of transportation fuels sold in the US to contain renewable fuel as a way to reduce GHG emissions.

Joint development

Honeywell UOP jointly developed the Ecofining process with Italian oil and energy major Eni SpA. It converts non-edible natural oils and animal fats to Honeywell Green Diesel, which offers improved performance over biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel. It features a cetane value of 80, compared with a cetane range of 40 to 60 found in diesel at the pump today.

Cetane values indicate how quickly and completely diesel fuel will burn. Higher-cetane diesel fuel provides better engine performance with fewer emissions. High-cetane diesel can be blended with cheaper low-cetane diesel to meet transportation standards. Honeywell Green Diesel also offers excellent performance at cold or warm temperatures.

Biojet and biocrude

In addition to Ecofining technology, Honeywell has commercialized its “UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process”, which originally was developed under a contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable jet fuel for the US military. The “Honeywell Green Jet Fuel” produced by this process technology can be blended seamlessly with petroleum-based fuel. When used in up to a 50-percent blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight.

Honeywell UOP also is a partner with Ensyn Corp. in Envergent Technologies LLC, which offers RTP rapid thermal processing technology and equipment for the production of renewable heat, power and transportation fuels.

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