Croda’s manufacturing site in Gouda, The Netherlands, is set to become the first oleochemical site in Europe to generate fuel from glycerine water to create 100% renewable biogas. This is part of a wider energy reduction programme that will reduce the site’s CO2 emissions by a quarter with some support from EU funding.
The Gouda site currently converts natural based raw materials, mainly vegetable oils and fats, into fatty acids and glycerol before using its innovative technology to refine and processes these ingredients into a wide range of products for consumer goods and commercial application. The biogas project will use the glycerine water that is a result of the manufacturing process to create 100% renewable fuel.
This month, the project received a boost through funding from EU LIFE+, the funding body for the environment and climate action. EU LIFE+ recognises projects that will make a vital contribution to the preservation, conservation and enhancement of Europe’s natural resources, and will also help to achieve sustainable growth through investment in a low carbon and resource efficient economy, and will use the Gouda site as a case study across Europe.
The project is already moving on from its initial concept testing to permanent site use, and is now supported by the EU as a demonstration project. The project, which has already seen the successful completion of a two year testing programme, will take two years to complete and will also see wider environmental benefits including a reduction in the site’s water intake by an estimated 500,000 tonnes a year (20%). The on-site usage of biogas from glycerine will reduce the site's natural gas consumption by 9%; the removal of the existing glycerine processing will mean an additional 6% of the site's gas consumption will also be saved. Further investment in the main boiler will improve its conversion efficiency by 10%, bringing the total project CO2 reduction to 25%.