Argent Energy, a leading European manufacturer of biofuels in the UK and the Netherlands, has commenced groundworks for construction of a Glycerine Refinery in the Port of Amsterdam which will produce 50,000 tons of refined glycerine per year. With this construction, the company is expanding its portfolio of sustainable products and will be entering the chemical market for the first time.
Aligned with Argent Energy’s vision to ‘Reduce the World’s Carbon Footprint’ by turning waste into valuable products, Argent will be transforming a natural by-product of the biodiesel process, into a technical-grade product suitable for the chemical industry.
From processing water to a sustainable chemical
Argent’s new venture and expansion plans reflect the increased worldwide demand to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources. The producer is due to scale up biodiesel production in Amsterdam five-fold to 540,000 tons per year, consequently increasing glycerine production, a natural by-product of the process.
Crude glycerine is recognised by The Renewable Energy Directive II (2009/28/EC) as a processing residue, generated as a by-product during the production of biodiesel. The uses of crude glycerine are limited due to its contaminants: water, salts, and MONG (Matter Organic Non Glycerol). However, Argent Energy’s decision to invest in a state-of-the-art Glycerine Refinery, using technology and equipment provided by Andreotti Impianti of Florence, Italy (www.andreottiimpianti.com), will upgrade the renewable crude glycerine created from the biodiesel process into a high purity sustainable chemical that will have better value applications across industry.
Argent’s refined glycerine
Argent will produce 99.7% pure Refined Glycerine suitable for a wide range of technical applications. It could be used to produce ethyleneglycol or propyleneglycol to act as an anti-freezing agent, and could be used as a plasticizer agent for the production of polymers such as plastics and foams. Argent’s Refined Glycerine can also be used for the production of epichlorohydrin, a main component for the creation of epoxy resins.
Production is expected to start in half 2023
The facility is due to start production of technical grade glycerine in December 2023. The state-of-the-art Glycerine Refinery will include distillation and polishing to achieve a high purity product of 99.7%. There will also be dedicated tanks, pipelines and dedicated loading bays to avoid cross-contamination.
“This refining facility will help add real value to what is a standard processing residue with limited applications. It will also help reduce carbon emissions in industrial processes where refined glycerine is an important component. Together with our up-coming five-fold increase of FAME production capacity, the construction of this glycerine refinery shows our strong belief that waste-based biodiesel will remain a crucial part of decarbonisation in transport and other industries for decades to come.”Erik Rietkerk, Argent Energy’s CEO
“In line with our brand mark, “sharing your values”, the satisfaction of our customers is Andreotti’s top priority, so we are very pleased to be partnering with such an innovating company as Argent Energy and providing significant added value to the glycerine side-streams from their biodiesel production.”Lorenzo Petruzzi, Commercial Director of Andreotti Impianti