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ExxonMobil an Chevron seek to make renewable fuels without costly refinery upgrades

August 13/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil, along with Chevron, is seeking to bulk up in the burgeoning renewable fuels space by finding ways to make such products at existing facilities, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with the efforts.

The two largest US oil companies want to produce sustainable fuels without ponying up billions of dollars that some refineries are spending to reconfigure operations to make such products. Renewable fuels account for 5% of US fuel consumption, but are poised to grow as various sectors adapt to cut overall carbon emissions to combat global climate change.

Both Chevron and Exxon have massive refining divisions that contribute heavily to their overall carbon emissions. The companies have been criticized for a less urgent approach to renewable investments than European rivals Royal Dutch Shell Plc and TotalEnergies, and have generally spent a lower percentage of their capital than those companies on "green" technologies.

The companies are looking into how to process bio-based feedstocks like vegetable oils and partially-processed biofuels with petroleum distillates to make renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable gasoline, without meaningfully increasing capital spending.

Commercial production of renewable fuels is costlier than making conventional motor gasoline unless coupled with tax credits.

A task force was created at Exxon's request within international standards and testing organization ASTM International to determine the capability of refiners to co-process up to 50% of certain types of bio-feedstocks to produce SAF, according to the sources.

Exxon did not respond to a request for comment.

Chevron is looking into how to run those feedstocks through their fluid catalytic crackers (FCC), gasoline-producing units that are generally the largest component of refining facilities.

"Our goal is to co-process biofeedstocks in the FCC by the end of 2021," a Chevron spokesperson told Reuters, to supply renewable products to consumers in Southern California.

The company is partnering with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a path to produce fuel that would qualify for emissions credits.

A source familiar with the matter said if approved by the EPA and CARB, Chevron would be able to produce and generate credits for renewable gasoline. That product is not yet commercially available, but can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 61% to 83%, depending which feedstock is used, according to the California Energy Commission.

Chevron said on its earnings call earlier this month that in the second phase of its process, it would be the first US refiner to use the cat cracker to produce renewable fuels.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil and SABIC have announced that their joint venture, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures located near Corpus Christi, Texas, has reached mechanical completion of a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit and two polyethylene (PE) units. Project startup is expected to begin ahead of schedule, likely in the fourth quarter of 2021.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Headquartered in San Ramon, California, Chevron Corporation is the the second-largest integrated energy company in the United States and among the largest corporations in the world. Chevron is involved in upstream activities including exploration and production, downstream activities including refining, marketing and transportation, and advanced energy technology. Chevron is also invested in power generation and gasification processes.


mrcplast.com
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PE, monoethylene glycol (MEG), crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, recikling, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Sabic, Shell, Total Petrochemicals, sustainable development, USA.
Category:General News
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