Neste's strategic choices in fuels and renewable solutions guide the company's raw material research. The majority of Neste's EUR 41 million R&D expenditure is spent on research into renewable feedstocks.
It is our goal to increase and expand the raw material pool. We have achieved the capability to use only waste and residues in our renewable diesel production. We have already succeeded in expanding the feedstock selection available for renewable diesel to more than 10 raw materials. There are several promising feedstocks, but the greatest challenge is their sufficiency, and financial profitability on industrial scale.
Neste cooperates closely with the leading research institutes and companies in various fields on research of renewable raw materials. The cooperation network includes about 25 different universities and research communities both in Finland and abroad.
Algae oil is one possible renewable feedstock of the future
Algae oil is also one of our long-term raw material research topics. We have been, and continue to be involved in international research projects, for example in the Netherlands, and Australia. The goal is to enable the cost-effective and sustainable use of algae oil as a feedstock for renewable fuel, and other renewable solutions.
Our research has proved that high-quality algae oil would be suitable as a feedstock for Neste's renewable products. However, it is not yet possible to cultivate microalgae that produces algae oil on an industrial scale due to high costs. We have prepared for a change in the situation by making conditional purchase agreements with algae oil producers.
Microbial oil research will now study other technological opportunities to utilize forestry and agricultural waste as feedstocks. The project proved that technological readiness for production of microbial oil exists. The two-year pilot plant-scale microbial oil research provided significant information, and added to Neste's patent portfolio. The results of the project will be utilized in other research projects in the future.
Tall oil pitch
Tall oil pitch has been introduced as a feedstock for renewable fuel, and we aim at further enabling its use.
New feedstock and technologies
Research into utilizing the waste and residue produced by forestry and agriculture as feedstock has been expanded to cover research on alternative microbiological routes. The research will evaluate microbes' ability to produce raw material for renewable fuels, and other findings for renewable solutions.