ORLEN Group firm ORLEN Poludnie is set to build a new plant in Trzebinia, Poland, to convert used cooking oil (UCO) and animal fats into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and glycerine, the company announced on 3 November.

Due for completion in the first quarter of 2023, the plant would produce 30,000 tonnes/year of FAME and 7,000 tonnes/year of technical grade glycerine.

On completion, the plant would enable the technical separation of a stream of vegetable glycerine which would be used in Trzebinia for the production of environmentally-friendly propylene glycol.

“The UCO FAME plant will increase the supply of alternative second-generation biocomponents,” Daniel Obajtek, president of the PKN ORLEN management board said.

ORLEN also announced the launch of a glycerine-based propylene glycol production unit at its Trzebinia biorefinery.

The 30,000 tonnes/year unit has enough capacity to cover as much as 75% of domestic demand for the product, according to ORLEN.

“Demand for this bio-based product is constantly growing in Europe and around the world,” Daniel Obajtek, president of the PKN ORLEN management board, said.

Glycerine obtained at the Trzebinia plant as a by-product of FAME/biodiesel production would be used to make glycol for sale in Poland and overseas, the company said.

ORLEN said it would also source glycerine from other Polish biodiesel producers.

A 350 tonnes/year hydrogen hub was an integral part of the glycol complex, the company said, with around 75% of the product to be used for glycol production and the remaining 25% further purified into hydrogen fuel.

ORLEN Południe is a leading Polish supplier of biofuels and biocomponents, which it produces at its Trzebinia refinery.

PKN ORLEN is an oil refiner and petrol retailer, which operates a network of fuel stations in Central Europe and Canada.

Glycol is used for a wide range of applications in a number of sectors, including medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. It can also be used in aviation as an anti-icing and de-icing agent for aircraft.