Shell takes dive into drop-in biofuels with Edmonton-based waste oil processor SBI

Royal Dutch Shell plc has penned a deal with SBI BioEnergy Inc. granting Shell exclusive development and licensing rights for SBI's patented process to convert a wide range of waste oils, greases and sustainable vegetable oils into lower carbon drop-ins for diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.

SBI uses a continuous catalytic process that converts fat, oil or grease into renewable biofuels that can be dropped directly into petroleum fuels. The drop-in products do not require blending or modifications to engines or infrastructure.

Biofuels emit less CO2 than petroleum products so their addition to fuels has the potential to reduce transport emissions and help fuel suppliers to meet lower carbon or renewable fuel standards.

Under the agreement, through Shell subsidiary Shell International Exploration and Production B.V., the companies will work together to demonstrate the potential of the technology and, if successful, scale up for commercial application.

"We are confident that Shell is the right industry partner to commercialize our low carbon intensity renewable fuel process," said Inder Singh, SBI's founding president and chief executive officer. "Working with Shell means that we have a partner with proven capabilities to investigate the potential this technology has for global application and that is something that is very exciting for us."

In a statement, Shell said it believes biofuels are essential to decarbonize transport fuels because they represent one of the most practical, commercial and cost-efficient solution to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport fuels sector over the next twenty years.

"SBI has a promising new Canadian biofuels technology," said Andrew Murfin, general manager, Advanced Biofuels for Shell. "This is a great opportunity for us to combine Shell's innovation and commercialization capabilities with SBI's technical expertise to investigate the potential this technology has for commercial application."

Shell is also a joint venture partner with Brazilian company Cosan in Raízen, one of the world's largest producers of sugar-cane ethanol, and is developing advanced biofuels made with non-edible plants and crop waste.