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Getting about in a green way: Eni fuel powers cities

by Eni Staff
07 February 2020
5 min read
byEni Staff
07 February 2020
5 min read

Sustainable mobility

Eni's position on sustainable transport is based on a synergistic mix of solutions that maximises efficiency on three fronts: improving the environment, reducing traffic and creating innovative services. This mix requires a range of actions, some of which Eni can undertake alone, some of which have to be done by stakeholders or through partnerships.

Completing the urban mobility circle

The circular economy in the world of public transport and multi-utility services, with a two-part strategy: one part focuses on promoting the use of our biofuels in public transport, while the other fosters the creation of networks for the collection of cooking oils, refining them into a tank-ready product. In recent years, more and more Italian cities have chosen biodiesel to fuel local buses and dustcarts, and more and more multi-utility companies are committed to creating a widespread system for the collection of used vegetable and frying oils. In the long term, we are also working on industrial agreements to extract biomethane, bio-oil and hydrogen from the different fractions of municipal solid waste.

Eni and multi-utility companies: jointly creating virtuous circles in the city

Used cooking oil, collected by multi-utility companies, will be turned into biofuel for dustcarts. After initial experiments in Turin, Venice and Rome, which revealed great benefits to the quality of air, the economy and industry, we signed new agreements with the companies Hera in Emilia-Romagna and Amiu in Taranto, and with the governorate of the Vatican City. The agreement provides that used vegetable oils for domestic use, such as frying, are recovered through special containers located in the streets and delivered to collection centers. From there they will be sent to the Eni bio-refinery at Porto Marghera, near Venice, and to Gela, where it will be converted into green diesel, a product of about 20% renewable raw material (used cooking oil, animal fats and other waste vegetable oils). The biofuel powers the company's vehicles that collect urban waste in Modena and Taranto. The agreement with the Vatican City governorate covers use of Eni biodiesel for transport in the Holy See.

Waste will be turned into energy in Venice

Waste from urban collection will become energy. This is already happening in Venice, where on March 2019 Eni Rewind signed a preliminary agreement with Veritas, a multi-utility company that collects, uses and treats waste in 51 municipalities in the metropolitan city of Venice. We will look into methods of building an industrial plant for turning the organic fraction of municipal solid waste into bio-oil and biomethane, through Eni's own Waste-to-Fuel technology, on a disused and reclaimed petrochemical site.

Transportation around the lagoon empowered with frying oil

Venice is the site of an impressive example of the circular economy. The oil used by its citizens to fry their food is delivered to a separate collection service, then transformed into the biofuel that powers the public water transport services. From 1 April to 31 October 2018, all AVM/Actv water services used the new fuel, whose vegetable component is produced at the bio-refinery at Porto Marghera, which turns raw material of biological origin, including used cooking oil and animal fats, into high-quality biofuel. The project aims to make the production and use of energy efficient and sustainable, converting a pollutant like used cooking oil into a resource.

Experiment in Turin

Six hundred and fifty buses from the Gruppo Torinese Trasporti (GTT) fleet, normally fed with traditional diesel, used the new biodiesel from July to October 2017. The test conducted in the city of Turin has proven the economic and environmental advantages of using biofuel.

Transformation in the kitchen: used vegetable oils morph into biofuels

The primary objective, besides kick starting a true circular economy, is to convert waste that is potentially detrimental to the environment into a new energy resource. It is estimated that every Italian family produces about 3 litres of used cooking, frying and food preservation oils every year. If this oil is disposed of as domestic waste, several problems occur. Groundwater is polluted, making large quantities of water unfit for drinking and harming the flora and fauna of rivers, lakes and seas. Dwellings are also effected negatively because sewers and the collecting systems become blocked, which increases the cost of maintenance. Lastly, performance of purification plants goes down since up to 4 kg of sludge is generated with every single litre of oil treated in the waste water. Experiments with producing biofuel from cooking oil are made possible by an agreement signed by Eni and CONOE, the national consortium for oil collection, to create a circular economy