UGI Corporation has signed a 15-year agreement with Vertimass (California-based technology developer) to use their catalytic technology to make renewable fuels from renewable ethanol in the US and Europe.
The agreement will allow the development of production facilities using Vertimass’ catalytic technology to convert renewable ethanol into renewable-propane and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Vertimass employs catalytic technology to convert renewable ethanol and other renewable alcohols into renewable hydrocarbon fuels compatible with the existing equipment and infrastructure. Vertimass Catalyst Technology does not need external hydrogen as other ethanol conversion technologies, consequently avoiding extra costs and infrastructure challenges. This can be significant risk to companies which produce biofuels through the hydrogen route.
The technology enables the flexible production of renewable fuels to align with regional market demand. Up to 50% of the total production capacity from the facilities can be renewable-propane that will support UGI’s ongoing efforts to provide innovative, low-carbon, sustainable energy solutions to its customers.
UGI expects to invest either solely, jointly with Vertimass or in partnership with third parties to build and operate multiple production facilities over the next 15 years in locations across the US and Europe, significantly increasing the supply of renewable propane and SAF. These projects would require a total investment of around $500 million, resulting in the production of about 1 billion gallons/year of combined renewable fuels.
The aim is to have the first production facility onstream by 2024 with an annual production target of around 50 million gallons of combined renewable fuels.