Unipetrol enters the BIOENERGY 2020+ project


03 Dec 2015



Prague, 26 November 2015 –The four year cooperation agreement aiming at  development of sophisticated 2nd generation biofuels, within the frameworks of BIOENERGY 2020+ project,  was signed between Unipetrol and Bioenergy 2020+. The project focuses on utilization of Fisher Tropsch synthesis to gain high quality bio-components from biomass, in particular diesel and kerosene. Also involved in these joint activities are The University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, the Research Institute for Inorganic Chemistry (UniCRE Centre) and PKN Orlen are also involved.

“The BIOENERGY 2020+ project has been running since 2004 in the Austrian town of Güssing. Unipetrol is entering into its second stage, in terms of which the production will be increased from 5 kg per day to production of 1 barrel per day. Larger quantity of biofuel produced can then be tested in pilot units in Litvínov,” explains Tomáš Herink, Research and Development Director at Unipetrol.

Active participation of Unipetrol

Together with the Research Institute for Inorganic Chemistry and the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Unipetrol RPA will be examining the results of hydrotreatment of hydrocarbon mixtures rich in paraffins, which are the main product of FT synthesis. “All of the hydrocarbons created through Fisher Tropsch synthesis can be used in the chemical industry either directly or changed into diesel or petrol via applied processes, e.g. through isomerization or hydrocracking,” explains Tomáš Herink. The aim is to come up with a method how to suitably incorporate these valuable products as a final product together with fossil sources in the existing refineries.

In the UniCRE centre, hydrocarbon mixtures created through FT synthesis will be processed together with raw materials from crude oil with the aid of hydrocracking at test facilities.

Research into 2nd generation biofuels

Unipetrol is engaging intensively in research into 2nd generation biofuels, including the possibility of producing second generation biofuels from biomass or waste plastics and tyres using gasification technology. Another alternative path is cultivation of algae using waste carbon dioxide. The ideal way forward is evidently a combination of various production technologies. This is one of the reasons why Unipetrol is cooperating with several Czech and foreign academic and research organizations and at the same time is part of broad international associations seeking support from the EU.

Unipetrol recently confirmed its interest in developing alternative fuels with its entry into the Czech Hydrogen Technology Platform. The aim of the project is closer cooperation and better coordination of activities leading towards development of the hydrogen economy and hydrogen technologies in the Czech Republic.