Elevance Eyes 2nd Biorefinery


Elevance Renewable Sciences expects to begin operating its second biorefinery in Mississippi in 2016, producing specialty chemicals, including some used in lubricants and base stocks.

The company yesterday said it authorized the next significant stage of the Natchez, Miss., biorefinery to expand production of its Inherent renewable building blocks. We have invested approximately $30 million in the Natchez site, and made several significant improvements that were required for todays announcement, Elevance Vice President of manufacturing John Harvey said in a news release. They included tripling production of existing operations, transforming existing operations from batch to continuous operations, beginning site preparation for biorefinery construction and completing initial capital projects.

Elevance earlier this year announced commercial shipments from its first biorefinery, a 180,000 tons per year joint venture with Wilmar International Ltd. in Gresik, Indonesia.

The Natchez biorefinery will initially operate using canola or soybean oil. The Gresik biorefinery is now operating on palm oil. The company noted both plants can run on multiple renewable oil feedstocks, including jatropha or algal oils when they become commercially available.

Woodridge, Ill.-based Elevance modifies vegetable oils with chemical catalyst technology to make specialty chemicals. The molecules combine the functional attributes of an olefin, typical of petrochemicals, and a monofunctional ester or acid, typical of bio-based oleochemicals, into a single molecule. Specialty chemicals, olefins and oleochemicals produced at the biorefineries will be used in a variety of products, including lubricants and additives.

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