Brazil's Petrobras tests use of soybean oil as feedstock in refinery

Credit: REUTERS/SERGIO MORAES

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petrobras has for the first time processed 100% soybean oil in an industrial refining unit, the state-run oil company said on Wednesday.

The test, that used soybean oil as feedstock, was carried out at its Riograndense Petroleum Refinery (RPR) in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state.

It will allow RPR to generate "fully renewable petrochemical products", said Petrobras, in what it said will open "a new world frontier for biorefining."

The processing of 100% renewable raw materials in a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is the first in the world, said the firm, that invested about 45 million reais ($9.2 million) in the project. Normally, the FCC process uses crude oil as the raw material.

RPR is preparing for the production of petrochemical inputs and renewable fuels such as LPG, maritime fuels, propylene and bioaromatics (BTX - benzene, toluene and xylene), used in the synthetic rubber, nylon and PVC industries, said Petrobras.

The new technology will allow RPR to explore business alternatives for the production of renewable products, and is part of Petrobras' push into energy transition, said the firm's CEO, Jean Paul Prates.

A second test is scheduled for June 2024, said Petrobras.

The firm did not give a timeline for when the technology would be put to use commercially.

($1 = 4.8791 reais) (Reporting Leticia Fucuchima Writing by Fabio Teixeira Editing by Mark Potter) ((Fabio.Teixeira@thomsonreuters.com; +55 21 99603-4782;)) Keywords: PETROBRAS REFINING/ (PIX)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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