£9m waste-derived fuel plant to open in N. Ireland

Renovare Fuels facility will produce 2 million litres of biofuels a year using technology developed in conjunction with NASA and the US Department of Energy.

In an initiative to meet growing demand for alternatives to fossil fuels, the UK-based specialist is pioneering a groundbreaking method to transform biogas into liquid fuels such as diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

In a partnership with renewable energy operator B9 Energy Control Limited and UK biogas company Powerhouse Management Ltd, the site in Craigmore, County Derry will open in 2024, which Renovare says will be the first of its kind in Europe.

The Renovare Fuels technology is designed to obtain the biogas via slotting gas extraction technology fitted directly onto Craigmore Landfill site at the facility. Using two transformative catalyst technologies, with advanced process engineering, the company says it will convert biogas to middle distillate fuels.

The renewable biofuel to be created at the site is a direct ‘drop-in’ replacement for diesel and aviation fuel, with no modifications required for engines.

Developed in collaboration with sister company T2C Energy, NASA and the US Department for Energy, the biofuel is claimed to be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 97 per cent.

According to Renovare Fuels, the 97 per cent reduction in emissions comes from a comprehensive analysis of the fuel’s entire lifecycle. The figure is primarily attributed to two factors: the efficient conversion of biogas – which utilises nearly 100 per cent as a feedstock – and the integration of CO2 into the fuel’s composition. The latter is significant since CO2 constitutes nearly 40 to 50 per cent of biogas.

Commenting on the new site, Matthew Stone, Chairman at Renovare Fuels, said: “Renovare Fuels are delighted to be commencing operations in Northern Ireland. This crucial investment will ensure we play a leading role in creating a sustainable future for the transport sector.

“As we work to meet our global climate goals, we have an exciting opportunity to scale up the UK’s production of renewable fuels, producing more than 1.8 million litres per year in Northern Ireland to support the industries that face the largest barriers to the net zero transition.”

Waste-derived fuel and net zero

The sustainable fuel produced at the facility is to supply UK-based fuel distributors as well as multinational petrochemical and airline companies.

In 2022, the transport sector accounted for up to 25 per cent of the UK’s total emissions. Simultaneously, the Government estimates that 32 million tonnes of biodegradable waste are generated each year – enough to produce up to two billion litres of biofuels each year.

Renovare stresses the ability of biofuels to support the industries facing the biggest barriers to net zero – such as aviation and haulage – and hopes the new facility can assist in achieving the feat.

Commenting on the new site, Ian Harvey, Founder at B9 Energy Control Limited, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Renovare Fuels’ landmark investment today, which paves the way for Northern Ireland to play an important role in supporting businesses transition to net zero.

“The new operations in County Derry present an opportune moment to kickstart a sustainable fuels drive across the UK. We look forward to continuing to support this development in the new year.”

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