Ecofining™, a proprietary biofuel technology

Workers over the Gela plant at sunset

What is Ecofining™?

Processing biogenic raw materials into high-quality biofuels. This is the innovation at the basis of the Ecofining™ process, that we have developed with Honeywell UOP. Technology contributes to the decarbonisation goal, especially for the mobility sector. The process, given its great flexibility, allows to treat different types of feedstocks, animal fats and vegetable oils from waste from the agri-food industry and used cooking oils. The raw materials thus become advanced biofuels, such as HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil), marketed as HVOlution, the first biofuel of Enilive produced with 100% of renewable raw materials (pursuant to Directive 2018/2001, also known as REDII).

 

Main features

Bioenergy
Bioenergy

Industrial production

Biofuels

Honeywell UOP

What is it for?

Biofuels are already available and can be used immediately on almost all heavy vehicles and on some passenger vehicles that have been validated for XtL fuels: a solution to help reduce CO2 emissions from transport, a sector that is currently still more than 90 per cent dependent on fossil fuels and emitted almost 8 Gt CO2 in 2022, more than 20 per cent of global emissions from energy consumption (source IEA 2022). For them to be truly sustainable, however, it is important that they are produced from raw materials that do not compete with the food chain. Thanks to the proprietary EcofiningTM technology, advanced biofuels are produced, which, as defined by the Renewable Energy Directive REDII, are produced from raw materials that guarantee high CO2 emission savings as they are obtained from residues and/or waste from the agro-food chain.

How does it work?

Ecofining™ transforms biogenic raw materials into Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a high quality biofuel. It can process different types of raw materials into biofuels that exceed the limits of traditional fuels such as FAMEs (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters). The technology consists of two steps: hydrodeoxygenation, i.e. adding hydrogen and eliminating oxygen, and its subsequent isomerisation, which branches the hydrocarbon chains. The resulting HVO biofuel can be used in diesel engines, even when pure, and if subjected to distillation it can be used for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

Ecofining™ is the technology that has enabled us to convert two of our conventional refineries into biorefineries: Venice-Porto Marghera (the first refinery in the world to be converted into a biorefinery in 2014) and Gela (where operations begun in 2019). In addition, three other biofuel biorefineries are being opened in Livorno, St. Bernard (USA), in the Pengerang Integrated Complex (Malaysia) and in South Korea.

Features and performance

Thanks to Ecofining™ technology, we were able to convert the two traditional refineries in Venice and Gela into biorefineries. By exploiting the flexibility of the process we are increasing the use of alternative fillers. 

350 k
ton/y

the organic raw material processing capacity of the Venice biorefinery


700 k
ton/y

the organic raw material processing capacity of the Gela biorefinery


3 mln
ton

biofuels produced with Ecofining technology by 2025.


350 k
ton/y

the organic raw material processing capacity of the Venice biorefinery

700 k
ton/y

the organic raw material processing capacity of the Gela biorefinery

3 mln
ton

biofuels produced with Ecofining technology by 2025.

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Technological partners

The EcofiningTM technology was developed at the Eni Research Centre in San Donato Milanese in collaboration with Honeywell UOP, a multinational leader in technological innovation for refineries.
Last update: 10 July 2023


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