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Axens to provide Vegan technology to Haike Chemicals for its SAF project in China


Photo: Haike Chemicals

Shandong Haike Chemical Co. Ltd., a Chinese refining and petrochemical company, has selected Axens’ Vegan® technology to produce low-carbon, cost competitive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by retrofitting its existing assets.


Vegan® technology is a second-generation hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) solution that processes up to 100 percent of any kind of lipid, including wastes from agriculture and food industry to produce renewable fuels that are able to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80 percent compared with a conventional jet-fuel production scheme.


This new contract with Haike Chemicals is Axens’ first reference for its Vegan® technology in Asia and represents a major opportunity to scale up production of SAF in line with recognized international standards (ASTM D7566) and able to meet growing demand from the European and North American markets.


According to the Air Transport Action Group, the aviation sector will need around 450 million tons to 500 million tons of SAF per year by 2050 to meet future demand and deliver its decarbonization targets.


The challenge is to ramp up production rapidly to deliver economies of scale and make SAF production competitive.


Haike Chemicals aims to have their first SAF-only unit on stream with high-yield on-spec production within 12 months before rolling out the process to other units to become a competitive world-leading supplier of high-quality SAF.


Flexibility is the key advantage of Axens’ Vegan® technology in terms of feedstock, product and implementation.


Based on a two-step process, it can process a wide range of feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats, tall oil and used cooking oil to produce SAF or renewable diesel according to market demand.


Vegan® technology can be applied in both standalone and integrated refinery environments.


In this way, the retrofit of existing hydrotreatment assets into Vegan® units represents a fast-track approach to advance a biorefinery project.


Moreover, Vegan® enables refiners to lower their capex thanks to the bifunctional catalyst applied during hydro-isomerization.


Lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions also means lower operating expenses.


“SAF will play a key role for the aviation industry as we transition to a low-carbon world, but it requires immediate action to scale up production in cost-competitive quantities and reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” said Jacques Rault, Axens’ technology and technical support executive vice president. “Our new contract with Haike Chemicals allows us to take our Vegan® technology to the next level, paving the way for industrial development of the latest generation of SAF, not only in China but also in the rest of the world.”

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