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Euglena starts up integrated Biofuels Isoconversion unit in Japan

Euglena starts up integrated Biofuels Isoconversion unit in Japan
Photo courtesy of Euglena

Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) and Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) announced the successful startup of Euglena Co., Ltd.’s integrated Biofuels Isoconversion unit in Yokohama, Japan. CLG is a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus Technology.

The 5 barrel per day (BPD), first-of-its-kind demonstration unit, employs the Biofuels Isoconversion technology, jointly developed by CLG and ARA, to produce renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel out of an algae oil blend and waste vegetable oil. Euglena Co. has successfully started up the demo-unit in 2020, and its renewable diesel products have met the specifications of a Japanese standard of diesel fuel “JIS K2204”. They have started supplying  renewable diesel to local bus services for passenger transportation in Japan. Euglena Co. also plans to produce a renewable jet fuel that meets the ASTM D7566 Annex 6 specifications and supply it to commercial flights in Japan.

Biofuels Isoconversion technology consists of hydrothermal conversion and hydroprocessing operations that convert waste fats, oils, and greases into jet fuel and diesel fuel that are virtually indistinguishable from their petroleum counterparts. This will result in an 80+% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum, once it is commercialised. ReadiJet™ and ReadiDiesel™, produced from the Biofuels Isoconversion technology, contain a uniform distribution of all hydrocarbon types observed in petroleum fuels, including aromatic, cycloparaffin, isoparaffin, and normal paraffin compounds, and are able to be directly blended with petroleum fuels.

ASTM International has approved the new production pathway for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) called “Catalytic Hydrothermolysis Jet,” or CHJ.  Euglena Co. intends to deliver CHJ for commercial flights in the coming years through the use of the Biofuels Isoconversion technology. 

“CLG is proud to be a part of the successful demonstration of the Biofuels Isoconversion technology at Euglena Co. and looks forward to implementing it at larger scale at several other locations around the world,” said Thad Sauvain, CLG’s director of Global Sales and Licensing.

“We are excited to see Euglena Co. take this meaningful step forward in its bold quest to become a leader in the production of low carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel from algae and waste fats, oils, and greases,” said Chuck Red, ARA’s vice president of Fuels Development.