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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

BP begins coprocessing used cooking oil into SAF at German refinery

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

BP began coprocessing UCO into SAF at its Lingen, Germany, refinery this month. (Photo: BP)

BP announced Feb. 21 that, since midmonth, the company has been coprocessing used cooking oil with petroleum crude at its refinery in Lingen, Germany, to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The BP plant in Lingen is the first industrial production site in Germany to use this process for SAF production based on biomass from waste and residues, the company stated.

“Biomass-based aviation fuels play an important role in the decarbonization of aviation,” said Arno Appel, board member of BP Europa SE and manager of the refinery in Lingen. “Because compared to conventional kerosene, SAF causes a significant reduction in CO2 over the entire life cycle of the fuel. In addition, airlines can use it immediately without any technical modifications. With the start of this industrial production of SAF in Germany, we are not only preparing our refinery in Lingen for the future, but also supporting the aviation industry in decarbonizing itself.”

According to the BP release, coprocessed SAF is internationally approved for up to 5 percent biogenic content without compromising performance and safety. Conventional SAF production, which is produced separately and blended afterwards, is approved for up to 50 percent concentration.

“The process used in Lingen to manufacture SAF is unique in Germany,” Appel said. “Coprocessing allows us to continue operating the existing facility with some modifications and extensions. In this way, we are making a direct contribution to decarbonization.”

Image: BP

To do this, BP built a new unloading point at the Lingen site, upgraded a tank for storing the used cooking oil, and connected it to the hydrocracker plant, which had previously been extensively maintained, the company stated.

BP aspires to achieve a 20 percent SAF market share worldwide. “In principle, this [coprocessing] technology is made possible in the current EU legal framework, but the [German government] has not yet created any legal certainty for it,” the company stated. “For this reason, the products obtained in coprocessing in Germany have not yet been approved for offsetting the greenhouse gas quota obligation and are therefore exported to other countries that allow offsetting.”

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