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Neste Oil adds new oils to biofuel base

Jathropha and camelina oils will now be used as raw materials for Neste Oil’s renewable biofuel.

By Isabella Kaminski

The oils will be added to the raw material base used to produce Neste Oil’s NExBTL renewable biofuel.

By introducing jathropha and camelina into its feedstock base, Neste Oil says it will increase the proportion of non-food materials and raw materials that can be grown on cultivation areas less suited for food plants in its raw material procurement.

Jathropha oil derived from the seeds of a family of plants that typically grow on poor land such as sandy soil, hay and shrublands in a savannah climate. According to Neste Oil, this means that cultivation of this plant does not threaten areas of forests.

Camelina is related to oilseed rape and grows best in northern temperate zones as well as Finland. Camelina can be grown in fallow lands and is suitable for crop rotation so, according to Neste, it has a minimal impact on land use for food crops.

At present, only limited volumes of jathropha and camelina oils are being procured to produce NExBTL. In addition to these new raw materials, Neste Oil continues to use palm oil and its by-products stearin and palm oil fatty acid distillate (PFAD), rapeseed oil and waste animal fat from the food industry.

As a result of the continuous feedstock base expansion, the company expects the proportion of crude palm oil to be less than 50% of the total bio-based raw materials used in the production of its renewable biofuel in 2011.

Neste Oil is also continuing research into completely new raw materials, such as microbes, algae and wood-based biomass, as well as already available materials such as soy bean oil, waste oils from the fish processing industry, used cooking oils, and tall oil.

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