Total Refining and Chemicals

BIOFIT Case Study: Co-feeding of pyrolysis oil in a fossil refinery to produce green transport fuels

Together with project partners TFMC and BTG, the co-feeding of pyrolysis oil in the FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracker) of a Total refinery will be investigated. This way, green, second-generation (advanced) transportation fuels can be produced. BIOFIT partners BEST and CERTH will work respectively on the supply chain and the environmental assessment.

Pyrolysis oil is a liquid bioenergy carrier produced from lignocellulosic materials, such as wood and wood waste. Pyrolysis oil has a high energy density, which means that it can be transported and stored easily at low-cost. Distributed production of pyrolysis oil can take place, followed by transport to a single location, such as a refinery.

Advantages of this concept are that only limited new infrastructure needs to be build, namely the pyrolysis oil production plants. These are relatively small, can be constructed fast (in 1 year), and capital requirements are modest in comparison with the costs of a refinery. Retrofitting the refinery to allow for co-feeding will likely entail only limited capital costs.

Co-feeding of pyrolysis oil in the Fluid Catalytic Cracker means that the oxygen and the water from the pyrolysis oil is removed, and a spectrum of green products is produced. Because a mixture of pyrolysis oil and fossil oil is fed to the FCC, the output is also a mix of fossil and green transportation fuels.

The current scenario is a co-feeding percentage of 5%. This means that around 50 million liters of advanced transportation fuels could be produced at the Total refinery.