Shell Is Building One of the Largest Biofuel Plants, With CO2-Capturing Technology

After United Airlines made history when it recently announced the biggest sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) purchase agreement ever made, there’s good news for Europe as well. Royal Dutch Shell announced that it’s building one of the biggest biofuel production facilities on the continent, focused on SAF and renewable diesel.
Shell announced a new Energy Park that will produce mostly SAF. 7 photos
Photo: Shell
Shell Strategy for De-Carbonizing AviationShell Strategy for De-Carbonizing AviationShell Strategy for De-Carbonizing AviationShell Strategy for De-Carbonizing AviationShell Strategy for De-Carbonizing AviationShell Strategy for De-Carbonizing Aviation
Shell is turning all of its 14 refineries into five energy and chemicals parks, with the objective of cutting traditional fuel production by more than 50% in the next ten years. After launching the first park in Rheinland, Germany, a couple of months ago, it’s now time for the Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam to begin operating.

This new park will have an impressive capacity of almost 904,000 tons (820,000 tones) per year. More than half of this will be represented by SAF, and the rest will be renewable diesel, but the production will also be adapted to customer demand.

These biofuels will be obtained from waste, including used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residues. Until waste becomes available on a larger scale, these materials will also be supplemented by the use of certified sustainable vegetable oils, like rapeseed.

What’s even more exciting is that Shell wants to make the production process clean, as well. Advanced technology will be used to capture the CO2 resulting from the manufacturing process. Then, the emissions will be transported and stored in an empty gas field, under the North Sea. This is part of the Porthos project, where CO2 emissions from multiple companies, including Shell, will be captured and stored.

Shell is also working on a future green hydrogen hub, in the Port of Rotterdam. In 2020, Shell and Eneco were awarded a tender for a 759 MW offshore wind project in the North Sea. The plan is to use this renewable power to produce green hydrogen at a future 200 MW electrolyser, in the same Port.

With these innovations, Shell hopes to accelerate biofuel adoption for aviation and freight transportation, which are considered “hard-to-decarbonize” sectors.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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