Biofuel, green diesel, renewable diesel: where’s the IP?

patents filed into biofuels

This data-file tracks 5,000 patents filed into biofuels: by geography, by company and particularly in 2017-20. The pace of research activity into “biofuels” and “biodiesel” seems to have halved since 2014, suggesting industry interest is waning.

As usual, China has come to dominate the recent patent literature, accounting for 60% of recent filings. Out of the ‘Top 25’ patents filed into biofuels from 2017-20, 15 are Chinese companies.

Ranked by recent patent filings, technology leaders include Sinopec, BASF, Arkema, Neste, TOTAL, ExxonMobil and DuPont. It is interesting that some well known companies (e.g., Ryze) did not appear to have filed many patents recently. Full details on the patent trends and filings are in the data-file.

Our 3 key conclusions are spelled out in the green diesel article sent out to our distribution list.

Pre-Salt Brazil: FPSO Tracker

This data-file tracks the construction progress of 30 FPSOs that are being deployed in the Brazilian pre-salt oil province. In each case, we quantify the vessel’s oil and gas handling capacity, development timing and recent news.

We also compare the FPSOs’ gas-handling capacity with regional pipeline capacity. There will only be room to monetize one-third of the pre-salt’s produced gas volumes by the mid-2020s. The rest  must be re-injected (chart below).

 

Eni Slurry Technology. A leader for IMO 2020?

Eni Slurry Technology

This data-file models the economics of Eni’s Slurry Technology, for hydro-converting heavy crudes and fuel oils into light products. It is among the top technologies we have reviewed for the arrival of IMO 2020 sulfur regulation, achieving >97% conversion of heavy fractions. The catalyst is stable and handles even ultra-heavy inputs. We see 10-20% IRRs at $20-40/bbl upgrading spreads. The data-file also summarises EST’s adoption in refineries to-date, future plans, and technical details of the EST process.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.