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Portuguese Refiner Becomes Second To License Biofuel Technology

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced today that Portugal's largest refiner, Galp Energia, will use the UOP/Eni Ecofining technology to produce diesel fuel from vegetable oils in a new process unit.

Galp Energia is the second European refiner to license Ecofining technology. Eni S.p.A, which co-developed the technology with UOP, is in the process of installing an Ecofining unit at its facility in Livorno, Italy.

The Galp Energia facility, to be located in Sines, Portugal, will process 6,500 barrels per day of vegetable oils to supply European refineries with a high-cetane "green" diesel fuel, to meet growing demand for high-quality, clean fuels and biofuels throughout Europe.

"The use of this technology for producing a high-quality green diesel places Galp Energia at the forefront of Portugal's effort to reduce emissions, and enables us to provide our costumers with a more sustainable product," said Manuel Ferreira De Oliveira, CEO of Galp Energia.

The Ecofining process uses catalytic hydroprocessing technology to convert vegetable oils to a green diesel fuel. The product features a high cetane value (the measure of the combustion quality of diesel) of approximately 80. Compared to diesel found at the pump today, which ranges from 40 to 60 cetane, green diesel offers value as a blending stock for fuel producers and blenders seeking to enhance existing diesel fuels and expand the diesel pool.

"The Ecofining process was designed to seamlessly integrate into existing infrastructure to reduce capital costs and simplify adoption," said Jennifer Holmgren, director of UOP's Renewable Energy & Chemicals business unit. "And in addition, the properties of the green diesel product eliminate the need for changes to automobile power trains, fuel pumps and fuel distribution networks."

The Ecofining technology is the first commercial product from UOP's Renewables Energy & Chemicals business unit. Launched in late 2006, the unit is focused on developing and commercializing technology to produce transportation fuels and chemicals from biofeedstocks ranging from vegetable oils to second generation cellulosic waste feedstocks like corn stover or wood chips.

UOP is also currently developing technology for the production of renewable Jet Propellant-8 (JP-8) jet fuel from vegetable and algal oils backed by $6.7 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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