MOL starts biofuel production at Danube Refinery

MOL starts biofuel production at Danube Refinery

Following several years of R&D Hungary’s oil/gas firm MOL says it has become a biofuel producer, through an investment in the Danube Refinery. Bio feedstock will be co-processed together with fossil materials increasing the renewable share of fuels and reducing up to 200,000 tonnes/year CO2 emission without negatively affecting fuel quality.

During co-processing at the Danube Refinery, bio-feedstock is processed together with the fossil material in the production of diesel fuel. Vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats can also be used for this purpose. As a result, the produced gasoil is partly renewable, without any quality changes compared to diesel produced entirely from crude-oil. The main advantage of this innovative method is that the resultant biodiesel can be still blended with a maximum 7% of bio-feedstock based fuel,  in line with diesel standards, allowing the bio-share of the gasoil to be higher.

One of the main goals of the European Union, and MOL Group, is to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The renewable share obligations of transportation fuel are continuously increasing, accordingly the biocomponent content expectations have also increased across MOL Group’s fuel markets, which have so far been met mainly by blending bioethanol and biodiesel.

MOL started co-processing as an R&D project in 2012 based on the research results of Pannon University.  Types and quality requirements of processable raw materials were determined and the investment was launched in 2018. This included the necessary infrastructure development for storing and processing the new bio-materials. The trial operation of the new process started in March 2020 and has been operating regularly since May.

The bio-component produced using this process has significantly higher CO2 saving potential than other type of biofuels produced from the same feedstock. This project means that up to 200,000 tonnes of annual CO2 emission will be cut, equivalent to a city of 200.000 inhabitants entirely switching to solar energy for heating. The target is to further expand the type of waste that can be used as feedstocks in the processing to achieve even better CO2 savings from the product.

Read: Inovyn launches clean hydrogen project to support decarbonisation in Norway

One of the cornerstones of the MOL Group 2030+ Strategy is to play a key role in shaping the low-carbon circular economy with investments in new businesses such as waste integration and utilization, recycling, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), advanced biofuels and potentially hydrogen-related opportunities.

In the next five years, MOL will spend US$1 billion on new, low-carbon and sustainable projects to become a key player in CEE in the circular economy and to get closer to its net-zero CO2 emitter goal by 2050. MOL aims to transform its Downstream segment into a highly efficient, sustainable, chemicals-focused leading industry player.

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