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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Repsol coprocesses sustainable aviation fuel in Tarragona, Spain

Photo: Repsol

Madrid-based multinational energy firm Repsol recently produced an initial batch of coprocessed sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its industrial complex in Tarragona, Spain. The batch consisted of 10,000 tons of aviation fuel with an SAF content of less than 5 percent “in order to comply with the quality requirements established in international specifications,” the company stated.

“The limit of 50 percent is for pure biojet manufacturing routes that are subsequently blended with jet A-1,” Mikkel Larsen, who handles international communications for Repsol, told Biobased Diesel Daily. “In our case, the route is simultaneous coprocessing with kerosene, and in this case the specification limits the biojet content to 5 percent.”

For competitive reasons, Larsen could not disclose which feedstock was used in the coprocessing of its SAF with petroleum kerosene. “We work with a range of materials of vegetable origin, always with certifications of sustainability, but we cannot comment on the specific feedstock as it is technical know-how to achieve the correct product specifications,” Larsen said.

Repsol says it has performed tests to determine the best raw material, with the goal of meeting the stringent requirements for Jet A1 fuels in terms of their performance at low temperatures and additional quality controls. “Likewise, numerous tests were conducted to determine the most appropriate biofuel concentration and the most appropriate production unit to manufacture it,” the company stated.

Similar coprocessed SAF will be manufactured at other Repsol facilities in Spain, the company said, adding that it is also developing “alternatives that will make it possible to obtain fuel for aircraft from waste.”

In summer 2020, Repsol announced production of its first batch of biofuel at the Puertollano Industrial Complex—the first batch of SAF on the Spanish market, according to the company. Later in the year, the company announced it was building a 250,000 ton (approximately 80 MMgy) renewable diesel and SAF plant in Cartagena, Spain, using Axens’ Vegan process technology. The company has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.

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