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New Technology for Conversion of Waste Fats to High-Quality Fuels


GREASOLINE is a process concept to convert waste fats to high-quality, fossil-fuel-like diesel and kerosene fuel, aiming at a commercial potential of 173 million Euro for SMEs during the first 5 years. 6 SMEs from 2 European countries and 2 highly recommended RTD providers will advance the process concept and build a small technical scale plant for prototype operation. Far more than 3 million tons of waste fats arise annually within the EU. Since 2001, their use for animal feed is prohibited due to BSE, and other ways of utilisation had to be developed. The most advanced utilisation product is biodiesel-type fuel. This fuel is corrosive and faces a limited acceptance. For the by-product glycerol, a low-budget thermal use has to be chosen. Following a patent applied by one of the RTD performers and adding process-internal catalytic upgrading, the GREASOLINE process generates fuels that match fossil-fuel standards. Glycerol is converted to propene to be either sold or to contribute to process-internal heating. Other processes have been developed to produce fossil-type fuel from waste fats, but did not manage a breakthrough at the market. GREASOLINE introduces a new catalyst: activated carbon! It displays advantages concerning applicability, structure and regeneration possibilities. Activated carbon has a inherent resistance against ageing effects, and it is a well-proven support material for upgrading catalysts. GREASOLINE-derived fuel does not contribute to the greenhouse effect, but helps to reduce fossil CO2-emissions due to the Kyoto protocol. GREASOLINE will open the fossil-style fuel market for SMEs. Funding will help European SMEs to overcome the remaining technological barriers and enable them to put a innovative, commercially promising technology into practice. SMEs will collect the waste fats and operate the plants. A strong impact on Europe's ecology and SME competitiveness will be ensured, resulting even in an export of the technology beyond EU's borders.

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