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Distillation Plant for Renewable Fuel Creation Biofuels from Synthetic Crude Oils

ILUDEST’s/i-Fischer’s latest innovative Project

by Dr. H-E. Koenen


The used lubrication oil re-refiner, Northern Oil Refinery (NOR) in Gladstone, Queensland/ Australia, is utilizing new technology to expand into the renewable fuels industry. Numerous crude fuel manufactures across the country generate crude fuel oil from a number of waste resources, including wood and cellulose waste, end of life tyres and biosolids from sewerage treatment plants. The crude fuels and oils will be sent to the new Biofuels Pilot Plant at NOR for further refining into a drop-in fuel, predominantly diesel. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided funding for a specialised fuels laboratory, which will allow testing of the crude fuels for their suitability to be turned into a renewable diesel or “biofuel”. The new Biofuels Pilot Plant (refinery) at NOR will also allow existing refinery waste and residue to be converted into renewable diesel. Waste oils and old tyres are collected throughout the region as a feedstock source for manufacturing of the crude oils. 

Tyres will be thermally decomposed and the synthetic crude oils condensed as raw fuels. The raw oils can contain high amounts of water, nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen containing compounds as well as aggressive and sublimating multi-ring aromatic compounds found also in common crude oil components.

ILUDEST/i-Fischer have designed, manufactured, supplied and commissioned two specially modified, tailor-made distillation units following the standards ASTM D2892 and D5236, which are well suited to manage the challenging chemistry of the mentioned crude fuels and oils.

Since the feedstock make-up can differ quite substantially, the Biofuel Pilot Plant at NOR has to be able to process the different range of feedstocks and raw fuels created from different sources on a daily basis. ILUDEST’s/i-Fischer’s laboratory distillation unit


combines the capabilities of ASTM D2892 and D5236 (coal tar version), designed to deliver suitable distillation data and sample cuts for further laboratory analysis. This can be performed on a day to day basis to precisely and reliable adjust process settings to guarantee the smooth operation of the Biofuel (Pilot) Plant.

The Australian Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Michael McCormack, praised the remarkable future concept of NOR at the inauguration ceremony in December 2016, which plans to accelerate the Australian Renewable Fuel industry through partnership with regional renewable crude oil producers and develop a Biofuel Pilot Plant inside Australia with the potential for exporting the technology overseas. The innovative business concept ties in a number of small producers and creates jobs across all of Australia while simultaneously reducing environmental problems through recycling of commercial industrial and domestic waste products.

ILUDEST/i-Fischer, in close cooperation with our exclusive representatives for Australia and New Zealand, M/s John Morris Scientific Pty. Ltd., are proud to have been chosen by NOR as project partners and to join and support this innovative conceptual strategy and process technologies with our expertise and skills in the field of Thermal Process Engineering.


ILUDEST Destillationsanlagen GmbH
Dachdeckerstr. 1
97297 Waldbüttelbrunn

Tel.: +49 (0) 931 497 090
Fax: +49 (0) 931 404 209 9
E-mail: info@iludest.de

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