A new biorefinery will use palm oil to produce olefins and specialty chemicals


A new collaboration will result in a 240,000 MT metathesis biorefinery in Malaysia. It will produce renewable, high-performance olefins and specialty chemicals that can be used in multiple end-products, including engineered polymers, as well as lubricants, surfactants, and detergents.

Elevance Renewable Sciences, a specialty chemicals company based in Woodridge, IL, began a new venture with Genting Plantations Berhad, a subsidiary of Genting Integrated Biorefinery Sdn Bhd (GIB). Elevance is a developer of specialty chemicals produced from natural oils.

The venture—25% owned by Elevance, 75% by GIB—will build a 240,000 MT metathesis biorefinery, which will operate using Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology. The Elevance metathesis biorefinery produces multiple high-value chemical streams, much like petroleum-based refineries.

The proprietary low-pressure, low-temperature process uses Nobel Prize-winning innovations in metathesis catalysis. Compared to petrochemical technologies, the process uses significantly less energy and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50%. An efficient, selective catalyst is used to break down natural oils and recombine fragments. The resulting process produces lower source pollution and reduces production costs and capital expenditures compared to petrochemical refineries.
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