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Revo International demonstrates proprietary advanced biofuels technology

In Japan, biodiesel producer and process developer Revo International Inc (Revo), has announced that it has successfully demonstrated a proprietary technology suitable for small-scale production of renewable diesel and biojet fuel from vegetable oils.

Commissioned in 2009, Revo International’s own 30 000 litre-per-day facility in Kyoto is still the largest biodiesel fuel manufacturing facility in Japan (photo courtesy Revo).

Founded in 1999 as a used cooking oil (UCO) collection service, Kyoto-based Revo International Inc, has developed proprietary small-to medium-scale biodiesel production processes and technologies. Apart from designing and supplying biodiesel production plants, the company also operates a 10.9 million litre-per-annum plant in Kyoto producing a Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) biodiesel that is sold under the brand “C-Fuel” in various blends – B5 to B100 for transportation and stationary applications.

Furthermore, the company has also been involved in developing the Jatropha value chain – from cultivation to biofuel application in Vietnam and has supplied a 365 000 litre-per-annum C-Fuel biodiesel production facility to Ayutthaya, Thailand for the Thai oil major PTT Public Co Ltd.

Low-pressure hydrogen with a proprietary catalyst

With an eye on advanced biofuels, the company has developed its own solid acid catalyst that enables the small-scale production of renewable diesel and jet fuels with various feedstock oils under the Bio-SPK (HEFA) pathway.

Unlike conventional refinery-scale hydrocracking technologies that require high temperatures and pressures to maintain catalyst performance and life-span, Revo’s technology uses low-pressure hydrogen of 1 MPa or less.

This catalyst reduces carbon production on the catalyst surface to low-pressure hydrogen. Even though it is possible to suppress it, we have the technology to maintain the activity and life of the catalyst industrially, enabling the design and operation of local production for local consumption equipment small- and medium scale, the company said in a statement.

Using UCO as feedstock, the company has successfully completed demonstration operations in a 10 litre-per-day reaction process that resulted in a 70 percent bio-crude yield with a 3:4:3 ratio bio-naphtha, biojet, and light oil respectively.

The company is promoting the production of samples such as test jet fuel for other companies and detailed design is underway for the construction of a 10 000 litre-per-day facility planned to be operational in 2021.

Fuel sample manufactured from UCO, bio-naphtha (left), bio-jet fuel, bio-light oil,
and heavy components (photo courtesy Revo).

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