Renewable base oil from biomass-derived platform chemicals

Reference number 2018-03998
Coordinator NYNAS AB (PUBL) - NYNAS AB (PUBL), Nynäshamn
Funding from Vinnova SEK 402 000
Project duration November 2018 - April 2019
Status Completed
Venture The strategic innovation programme Bioinnovation
Call BioInnovation Test of hypothesis step 1-2018

Purpose and goal

The project aimed to explore a proposed new value chain of high molecular weight base oils produced from forest and agricultural residues. The objectives of the project were to investigate and determine appropriate process conditions and catalysts for the proposed synthetic steps, as well as to produce a hydrocarbon mixture of high molecular weight distribution to assess. The objectives were well met, and it proved possible to produce a hydrocarbon mixture from derivatives of hemicellulose. From the hydrocarbon mixture both light and heavy base oil fractions could be obtained.

Expected results and effects

From derivatives of hemicellulose it proved possible to synthesize intermediates with appreciable size of carbon skeleton. Hydrotreatment of the intermediate in a fossil carrier works well. The result is a hydrocarbon mixture which seem to have the premise to be able to develop further into a renewable base oil, judging by the molecular weight and the boiling point distribution. A renewable base oil, technically equivalent or better than its fossil equivalent, would be major step forward for the petroleum industry to align with a more bio-based economy.

Planned approach and implementation

The project was jointly run by RISE and Nynas. RISE performed the practical synthetic work and Nynas continuously evaluated the results to steer the development work. Firstly, conditions for synthesis of high molecular weight derivatives were identified. Prior the hydrogenation step, formulation strategies of the derivatives were conducted. Finally, the material was hydrogenated in batch reactor and collected data can be used to adapt the process to existing infrastructure at refineries. In all, the project has been run according to plan with no appreciable delays.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.