You are here

Austrian biomass tech could be attractive to Brazilian biofuel production says CSO

BDI says BioCRACK tech to convert biomass into diesel could be huge market for biofuels in Brazil

The biomass to diesel technology could be good for biofuel production in Brazil
The biomass to diesel technology could be good for biofuel production in Brazil

Austrian technology to convert biomass into diesel could be attractive to biofuel companies in Brazil. The technology, which is being trialled at an Austrian pilot plant, involves a “unique” innovative biomass conversion process. Technology developer BDI has said this could be a good market for countries with high biomasss resources, such as Brazil. 

The plant, ‘BioCRACK’, at the OMV Refinery in Schwechat, Austria, is the first of its kind to use the technology, which converts solid biomass, such as wood chips and other agricultural waste products, directly into diesel. 

The patented process, which BDI-BioEnergy International has developed, produces diesel by heating the biomass with heavy oil to over 400°C. The company claims the role of heavy oil in the process makes this technology attractive as an “add on” for existing refineries and in biofuel production. 

BDI said an advantage of the technology is that the biomass used does not compete with food resources, as it comes from agricultural waste products such as wood chips or straw. This makes BioCRACK ideal for countries with high biomass resources, such as Brazil.

Edgar Ahn, chief strategy officer, said: “Basically, every country with biomass resources, a viable local mineral oil industry and political interest in biofuels is of highest interest for our technology. So Brazil, for example, with its large resources in biomass, its huge mineral oil industry and its tradition in biofuel production seems to be a huge market for BioCRACK.”

“I think that our approach of co-processing biomass with refinery side-products (heavy ends) is quite unique and attractive for mineral oil refineries,” Ahn said. “Our approach allows the use of existing refinery infrastructure and can be seen as an “add-on” technology for refineries rather than a “stand-alone” solution.

BioCRACK is a joint project between Austrian industrial company OMV Aktiengesellschaft and German technology firm BDI-BioEnergy International. The BioCRACK technology will be tested at the refinery in Schwechat, and is expected to reach market maturity by mid 2014.