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

Tim Somheil

July 16, 2014

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

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.

The new biorefinery will be located in Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

GIB will pay license and design fees to Elevance. Elevance will provide intellectual property rights, knowledge transfer, and technical and consulting services.

Elevance will also be the exclusive seller of all specialty chemicals produced at the biorefinery.

This collaboration extends our ability to deliver novel products with improved performance, helping to achieve a paradigm shift in the way companies are addressing industry and consumer demand—making better products while leaving a smaller environmental footprint,” said Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson.

Genting Integrated Biorefinery will spearhead our Group’s expansion into the high value-added palm oil downstream segment that will showcase palm oil’s immense potential to serve an ever-increasing variety of applications and further complement the many pioneering initiatives we are pursuing in our ongoing drive to unlock palm oil’s full potential through scientific innovation,” said Genting Plantations Berhad Chief Executive Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. 

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