This paper presents the study of the European Petroleum Refiners Association into various pathways to produce a low-carbon liquid fuel to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity in European transport.
The European Union has set climate goals targeting 80-95 % GHG emission reductions by 2050. There is a strong focus on reducing CO2 emissions from transport fuels. Refining industry can effectively contribute by gradually transitioning to e.g. new feedstock's hence reducing product-related CO2 emissions (in combination with more efficient vehicles); integration with chemicals; further increasing CO2 efficiency in refineries and Green Hydrogen. The Concawe study explores these so-called Low-Carbon Pathways with the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the production and the use refined oil products [Concawe, 2018].
Options for CO2 emission reduction in refining are e.g. energy efficiency, low carbon electricity and carbon-capture & storage (CCS) and carbon-capture & usage (CCU). CO2 emissions savings up to 70 % towards 2050 could be possible. Other pathways explored for future refining are e.g. the use of green hydrogen and the impact of fuel quality and bio-feedstock into the refinery. The use of advanced biofuels will play a significant role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transport.
This paper being a summary of the FuelsEurope Vision 2050 [FuelsEurope, 2018] presents the latest results of the ongoing study by Concawe showing possible pathways and CO2 reduction potential for EU refining, site-specific factors will determine individual refineries preferred routes to contribute. The principles are generally applicable to refineries in other parts of the world.