Intermediate result of WP2 and WP3 (achieved) : First production of 1kg Bio-HFO

May 2022

Result from partners Vertoro, CSIC and Bloom.

This result has been achieved in March 2022 in month 23 of the project (results documented in Work Package 2 of the planned result: Extraction of lignin from biomaterials as well as in Work Package 3 of the planned result: Catalytic processes for the upgrade of crude lignin oil into HFO-like marine fuel).

Partner Vertoro has produced the first 1kg-batch of Biogenic Heavy Fuel Oil (Bio-HFO) in a 5L CSTR pilot hydrotreatment reactor. The first Bio-HFO sample is produced after applying the lab-scale catalytic recipe developed by partner CSIC to hydrotreat mixtures of crude lignin oil (delivered by partner Vertoro) and lignin oligomers (delivered by partner Bloom).

  • Objective: To validate the hydrotreatment process of crude lignin oils (CLO) and lignin oligomers to produce Bio-HFO at the 1kg-scale
  • Research: Optimisation of catalytic hydrotreatment of both methanolic crude lignin oils (CLO) and AAF lignin oligomers using commercial hydrogenation catalysts. The hydrotreatment of CLO has been scaled from lab to pilot, while ensuring similar process efficiency and reproducibility.
  • Result: Successful production of 1kg of Bio-HFO
  • What will it be used for: the Bio-HFO will be characterised and evaluated on its compatibility with key marine fuel ISO 8217 specifications (flash point, viscosity, density, oxygen content, total acid number, ash content).
  • Impact: Based on the compatibility study the catalytic recipe will be adapted to ensure the optimal fit with marine fuel requirements and the IDEALFUEL project goals to develop a sustainable marine fuel that can be used as drop-in in the existing maritime fleet. In addition, Vertoro will use the processing data for the engineering phase of the scale-up facility which will enable the production of Bio-HFO on ton scale. This up-scaled production of Bio-HFO will be a key step in the second part of the project to deliver 1000kg-samples for testing in the 2-stoke test engines at WinGD.

On the left side of the picture above you can see the 5L CSTR pilot reactor that was utilised to hydrotreat methanol based crude lignin oils (CLOs) (by partner Vertoro); (right) Hydrotreated CLOs after pilot operations that were subjected to downstream solvent recycle for the final production of Bio-HFO (see below).