Biofuels, a key contribution to the transport transition

We develop the most innovative technologies and low-carbon production methods to produce more sustainable biofuels.

Biofuels are transport combustibles produced from biogenic raw materials, such as oils extracted from oilseeds, organic waste like cooking oils, animal fat and residue from the agro-food industry. They can make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (measured in terms of CO2 equivalent according to the "well-to-wheel" methodology, i.e. considering the entire value chain) - from cars, trucks, ships and aeroplanes.

The use of raw materials obtained from non-food plants grown on degraded land and from cover crops, therefore not in competition with food production, makes it possible to cooperate successfully with the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to valorise waste and residue from agricultural and agro-forestry production, thereby creating long-term partnerships.

Their use is particularly efficient because it is based on existing technologies and they can contribute immediately to reducing emissions in the transport sector.

Eni produces biofuels from various raw materials. Today our bio-refineries are powered mostly by waste raw materials resulting from used cooking oil, animal fat and other biomass, which allows us to produce Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuels capable of reducing CO2eq emissions, depending on the feedstock used, by between 60 and 90% (calculated over the entire value chain) compared to the reference fossil mix, pursuant to the REDII Directive (2018/2001). Eni stopped the supply of palm oil to its Venice and Gela bio-refineries as early as October 2022.

Our production is based on Ecofining™, our proprietary technology. Thanks to its great flexibility, it makes it possible to process different types of feedstocks to obtain a biofuel which, regardless of the source material, can also be used in pure form in engines validated for its use.

Ecofining™ is used in our bio-refineries in Venice and Gela, where we process raw materials of organic origin, specifically vegetable oils, but also animal fat and used cooking oils. We expect to make increasing use of waste and residue from the food industry. We are also investigating the feasibility of converting another existing facility into a bio-refinery in Livorno, where we plan to build an Ecofining™ plant capable of processing 500,000 tonnes of biomass per year when fully operational, as well as a new bio-refinery in Pengerang, Malaysia. We are also present in the United States with the St. Bernard Renewables bio-refinery in Louisiana, in partnership with PBF Energy, also based on Ecofining™ technology.

To ensure an increasingly sustainable supply for our bio-refineries, we have launched an agri-feedstock project: we are coordinating the cultivation of non-food plants on degraded land and promoting the introduction of second-harvest crops, regenerative agriculture projects that compete neither with food production nor with forest resources in some African countries. In the same countries, we co-ordinate the collection of waste materials, which are useful for producing biofuel, from agriculture, livestock breeding and the agri-food, catering and tourism industry. The products are collected in our "agri-hubs" (the first one is already in operation in Kenya) and are then processed in our bio-refineries and contribute to the production of HVO biofuels, initially with a limited role but then increasingly important. The first load arrived at the Gela bio-refinery in autumn 2022. 

Biofuels: what are they and where do they come from?

There are different types of biofuels. The first that were developed were obtained from raw materials that came also from crops competing with the food chain.

EU legislation (the EU RED II Directive) encourages the production of biofuels produced from non-food raw materials, such as organic waste and agricultural, forestry and food industry biomass waste. These biofuels can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions more substantially compared to fossil fuels, without compromising food security.

Eni products are increasingly decarbonized

Eni produces a range of hydrotreated biofuels that are sold both in pure form (such as HVOlution, HVO 100%) and in blends (such as Eni Diesel+, with a 15% HVO component). To contribute to the decarbonization of air transport, it produces aviation fuel (Sustainable Aviation Fuel - SAF) made from a biogenic component and blended with fossil fuel at a rate of 20% to produce the JET A1+SAF HEFA. This fuel has been on sale since the end of 2022.


Innovation in support of decarbonization

Reducing emissions in an increasingly growth-driven world is a challenging goal, and we are facing it by developing alternative solutions to change the way we produce and consume energy.

The Ecofining™ technology: how does it work and what is it used for?

In its bio-refineries in Venice and Gela, Eni produces biofuels thanks to the Ecofining™ technology. This technology makes it possible to produce a type of biofuel called hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). The advantage of HVO is that it can be used in modern diesel engines without any alteration either by mixing it with fossil components or in pure form in certified engines (this information can be found in the maintenance booklet of every vehicle). Ecofining™ makes it possible to produce a wide range of products: HVO-diesel, but also bio-LPG, bio-jet and bio-naphtha for the production of chemicals.

Eni's Strategic Plan 2023-2026 envisages reaching a refining capacity of over 3 million tonnes per year by 2025, and then more than 5 million by 2030.