H-BIO process

Petrobras technology for diesel production from vegetable oils (H-BIO process) involves catalytic hydrogenation of a blend of diesel fractions and vegetable oil in a hydrotreating (HDT) reactor under controlled conditions of high temperature and hydrogen pressure taking advantage of existing plants. Petrobras H-BIO technology is operating in five Brazilian refineries at the end of 2008 with vegetable oil (SBO, CAS) consumption of 425 000 m3/yr, equivalent to 16% of the country’s soybean oil exports in 2005. By 2008, the H-BIO process will cut down 25% of Brazil’s diesel imports.

The most important aspect of the H-BIO process is the very high conversion yield, at least 95% v/v to diesel, without residue generation and a small propane production as a by-product. The converted product contributes to improving the diesel pool quality in the refinery, mainly increasing the cetane
number, reducing the sulphur content and density. The diesel pool quality upgrade will be a consequence of the vegetable oil percentage used in the H-BIO process. Figure 15.22 shows the H-BIO process schematically.

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