ConocoPhillips and Tyson Will Make Fuel From Fat | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: April 19, 2007

ConocoPhillips and Tyson Will Make Fuel From Fat

Industrial giants join to produce renewable diesel fuel from beef, pork, and poultry fat
Department: Business | Collection: Climate Change, Sustainability

Oil major ConocoPhillips and meat processor Tyson Foods are joining forces to create and market a new type of transportation fuel made from beef, pork, and poultry fat. They say it will supplement the existing petroleum-based diesel fuel supply.

The companies plan to combine Tyson's knowledge of protein chemistry and production with ConocoPhillips' processing and marketing expertise to introduce a renewable fuel that meets all federal standards for ultra-low-sulfur diesel.

"This alliance will provide a new and significant contribution to our nation's domestic renewable fuel supply," says ConocoPhillips CEO James J. Mulva. "It also offers an excellent opportunity to use our company's manufacturing expertise and advanced technology to help increase the supply of renewable fuels and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Tyson CEO Richard L. Bond calls the partnership "a big win for the entire agricultural sector" because it paves the way for greater involvement of fats and oils in renewable fuels.

Officials say Tyson will begin preprocessing animal fat from some of its North American rendering facilities later in the year. ConocoPhillips will begin the necessary capital expenditures to enable it to produce the fuel in several of its refineries.

Production of renewable diesel, which is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2007, is expected to reach as much as 175 million gal annually within a few years.

The production technology, which ConocoPhillips developed at its Whitegate refinery in Cork, Ireland, uses a thermal depolymerization technique to coprocess animal fat with hydrocarbon feedstock.

ConocoPhillips and Tyson say their fuel is chemically equivalent to the diesel produced from hydrocarbon feedstocks and can be transported directly through existing pipelines to distribution terminals. The latter trait, they say, sets it apart from biodiesel, which in the U.S. is mostly derived from soybean oil and must be transported by truck or rail.

 
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