Neste Oil launches two-year joint algae research program with Marine Research Centre at Finnish Environment Institute as part of its efforts to use algae oil to produce NExBTL renewable diesel
September 19, 2011
– Neste Oil has launched a joint algae research program with the Marine Research Centre at Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The program is part of Neste Oil's efforts aimed at using algae oil as a raw material for producing NExBTL renewable diesel in the future. Research with SYKE will focus on testing the lipid production capacity of different types of algae and analyzing how the quality and quantity of these lipids can be optimized by adjusting the conditions under which algae are grown. Launched this August, the program will last two years.
At SYKE's Marine Research Centre, the use of planktonic algae as a source of bioenergy has been studied since 2008 during several national and international projects. The main objective has been screening and optimising the lipid production capacity of the algae strains isolated from the Baltic Sea.
"It is great to have the opportunity to tap into the world-class algae-related know-how that SYKE has to support our own in-house expertise," says Pauliina Uronen, Algae Research Project Manager at Neste Oil. "The new program is intended to help ensure that we have access to industrial-scale volumes of cost-effective algae oil for our future production needs."
Neste Oil is already working with a number of international research institutions, universities, and companies in the algae research area. The company announced in the summer that it would take part in two new international algae research projects in Australia and the Netherlands.
The suitability of algae oil for use in the NExBTL process has already been confirmed. Algae that produce and store lipids represent a valuable potential source of raw material for NExBTL renewable diesel. Algae grow rapidly and one hectare of cultivated algae could yield as much as 30 t/a of oil. Algae oil is also an excellent alternative in terms of sustainability, as it does not compete with food production for supplies of potable water or land.
Neste Oil Corporation
Director, Corporate Communications
Neste Oil: Juha Lehtonen, Acting Vice President, R&D, tel. +358 (0) 50 458 3703
SYKE: Mari Walls, Director of the Marine Research Centre, tel. + 358 (0) 40 556 3839
Neste Oil in brief
Neste Oil Corporation is a refining and marketing company concentrating on low-emission, high-quality traffic fuels. The company produces a comprehensive range of major petroleum products and is the world's leading supplier of renewable diesel. The company had net sales of EUR 11.9 billion in 2010 and employs around 5,000 people. Neste Oil's share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
Neste Oil is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Ethibel Excellence investment register, as well as The Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable corporations. Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) has ranked Neste Oil as the best performer in the oil & gas sector. Further information: www.nesteoil.com
SYKE's Marine Research Centre in brief
Marine research at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) supports the protection of the Baltic Sea as well as the sustainable use of marine resources. Marine Reserch Centre produces information and new solutions that help decision-making in the public and private sector to promote the protection and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea. SYKE integrates a wide spectrum of marine research, catchment research, climate change research and socioeconomic research. Multidisciplinary research makes use of observations, experimental research, numerical models, prognoses and socioeconomical studies. SYKE is also responsible for oil spill response measures when an environmental accident takes place on sea. Moreover, SYKE administrates the research vessels Aranda and Muikku which are used for marine monitoring and research.
NExBTL renewable diesel in brief
Based on Neste Oil's proprietary technology, premium-quality NExBTL renewable diesel is the most advanced diesel fuel on the market today. It easily outperforms both conventional biodiesel and fossil diesel, and can be produced from a flexible mix of vegetable oils and waste animal fat sourced from the food industry. Neste Oil's procurement chain ensures that all the raw materials it uses for NExBTL are produced responsibly. NExBTL renewable diesel has been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50% over the product's entire life cycle when compared to fossil diesel. Its lower tailpipe emissions also make a valuable contribution to enhancing overall air quality.