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Sustainable fuels & chemicals

OMV is the first Austrian company to verifiably produce fuels with biogenic components in a sustainable way and market them countrywide through its own filling station network. The sustainability of the applied biogenic components was rewarded with the ISCC-EU certificate demonstrating our compliance with the highest legal sustainability standards. Furthermore, OMV also meets the requirements of the Renewable Energy Directive of the European Union, which focuses on applying sufficient environmental and social principles along the entire supply chain of biofuels.

Co-processing is the direct use of pre-treated vegetable oils – such as rapeseed- sunflower- or soy oil – as a raw material in the refinery to produce high quality bio-based fuels with characteristics identical to fossil fuels. Traditional biofuel mixtures blend the biogenic component only after fuel production. Contrary to this approach, Co-processing introduces the biogenic additive already in the production process. Utilizing this process leads to an annual reduction in OMV’s carbon footprint of up to 360,000 metric tons of CO2. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of around 200,000 cars driving an average of 12,000 km per year.

What’s best about Co-processing? The bio-based fuel meets the highest quality standards and can be used in any type of vehicle. The technology applied is also not limited to vegetable oil. Waste products such as used cooking oil and advanced feedstocks, such as algae oil, can also be used based on availability.

In December 2020, OMV reached an important milestone with the innovative project by committing to invest EUR 200 million for the construction of a co-processing unit at the Schwechat refinery.

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Sustainable or Advanced fuels are products that are not using constituents from food production and are therefore not in competition with food. Gaining advanced fuels involves mixing traditional fossil based fuels with advanced biofuels.

Advanced Bioethanol

Since January 2021, OMV is supplied with advanced Bioethanol from AustroCel Hallein. The Bioethanol is produced exclusively from cellulose scrap, leftovers in the cellulose production, which are fermented and distilled. This process makes it exceptionally environmentally friendly and sustainable as no food or animal feed is used.

Substituting fossil fuels at OMV will save around 45,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. This product will thereby help reduce the carbon intensity of the OMV product portfolio and aid in meeting OMV’s 2025 Sustainability Targets.

Glycerin2Propanol

OMV also plans the production of propanol which is a bio based alcohol used as an additive for gasoline. For this purpose, a pilot plant will be built at the OMV Schwechat refinery which will produce second-generation biofuels starting in 2023 using a patented process developed inhouse. A typical refining process will see the waste-based substance glycerin turned into bio-alcohol, which when added to gasoline reduces its CO2 footprint. OMV is set to invest around EUR 30 million to reach production capacities of 1.25 million liters of propanol per year. The long term goal is to produce 125 million liters of propanol annually and reduce CO2 emissions by around 180,000 metric tons.

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Imagine CO2 emissions are cut off – for example from an industrial plant – and hydrogen is being added to them. In doing so, a so-called synthesis gas forms, which itself can be processed further to so-called synthetic fuels. This means that no CO2 is being released into the atmosphere, but instead is being recycled into fuel. Furthermore, not a single drop of refined crude oil is needed to produce synthetic fuel. The resulting CO2 saving is immense, about 90 to 95 % compared to, fossil-based fuels.

Synthetic fuels have a lot of potential for the future. They are liquid, have a high energy density and are high-purity products that can resort to an already existing infrastructure worldwide. Tankers, storage farms, pipelines, as well as transportation vehicles from airplanes, ships all the way to cars can use synthetic fuels just like ordinary fuels.

Especially in areas that are difficult to electrify, synthetic fuels offer a good and CO2-saving alternative. Air, heavy load and naval transportation could in particular benefit from synthetic fuels.