Fat fuel alliance

ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods have formed an alliance to produce and market the next generation of renewable diesel fuel using beef, pork and poultry by-product fat.



Over the last year, the companies have been collaborating on ways to leverage Tyson’s knowledge in protein chemistry and production with ConocoPhillips’ processing and marketing experience to introduce a renewable diesel to the United States.



Tyson will make capital improvements this summer in order to begin pre-processing animal fat from some of its North American rendering facilities later in the year. ConocoPhillips also will begin the necessary capital expenditures to enable it to produce the fuel in several of its refineries. The finished product will be renewable diesel fuel mixtures that meet all federal standards for ultra-low-sulphur diesel. Production is expected to ramp up over time to as much as 175 million gallons per year of renewable diesel.



Using a proprietary thermal depolymerisation production technology, the animal fats will be processed with hydrocarbon feedstocks to produce a high-quality diesel fuel that meets standards for ultra-low-sulphur diesel. The addition of animal fat also improves the fuel’s ignition properties, while the processing step improves its storage stability and handling characteristics.



The processing technology was developed at ConocoPhillips, culminating in a successful test at the company’s Whitegate Refinery in Cork, Ireland. ConocoPhillips began commercial production of renewable diesel using soybean oil in Ireland late last year.