Brazilian petroleum company Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) is planning to produce renewable diesel that complies with the country’s new fuel regulations at its REPAR refinery, Oil&Gas Journal reported on 24 June.

Set by Brazil’s Agência Nacional do Petróleo e Biocobustível (ANP), the new fuel specifications are due to take effect in August.

They require regular fuel, whether produced locally or imported, to have a minimum specific mass of 715kg/m³ and a minimum octane rating of 92 research octane number (RON), Petrobas was quoted as saying.

“Petrobras is already ready to produce this new gasoline. The new specification is welcome and will bring the quality of the fuel sold in Brazil closer to that of the American and European market,” Petrobras’ director of refining and natural gas Anelise Lara was quoted as saying in Associação Brasileira de Engenharia Automotiva’s (AEA) Youtube broadcast ‘Sustainable Mobility and the Future of Fuel on 23 June.

Petrobras would begin production tests for renewable diesel, Lara added, at its 208,000 barrels/day Presidente Getúlio Vargas (REPAR) refinery in Araucária, Paraná.

“The economic viability of renewable diesel depends on its recognition in compliance with the rule of adding biofuels to diesel, a subject that is currently under discussion at the ANP. This will allow an increase in the competitiveness of biofuels for the diesel cycle,” Lara was quoted by Oil&Gas Journal as saying.

Renewable diesel could be produced in dedicated plants or via co-processing of renewable material (vegetable oil, animal fats) with mineral diesel in units inside oil refineries using the company’s H-Bio process, the company said.

The H-Bio process, which involved mixing vegetable oil and petroleum distillate in a hydrotreating unit, resulted in a more stable renewable diesel than the simpler process of transesterification, according to the operator.