Permitting for the conversion of a petroleum refinery to renewable diesel production

About this project

client
Confidential
location
Upper Midwest
cost
$400,000 (Barr’s fees)
completion date
Ongoing

In 2017, a confidential client asked Barr to complete a permitting evaluation for a petroleum refinery that planned to blend soy oil into its crude oil feedstock. At that time, Barr determined that no air-quality permit would be required for co-processing the soy oil. The client later decided to fully convert the refinery to renewable diesel production. As the first full conversion of its kind, there were multiple iterations of the process design and equipment selection, resulting in three separate permit applications. Barr evaluated the air quality regulatory and permitting implications of the new feedstocks, processes, and equipment for each iteration and prepared applications for revisions to the air quality permit to construct.

The plant conversion resulted in a change in the significant industrial user classification, which required a revision to the plant’s North Dakota Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPDES) wastewater pretreatment permit. We evaluated the impacts on pollutants in the discharge, updated the plant water and chemical balance, and determined the implications for the pretreatment permit. Then we worked with the client and state and city authorities to identify new discharge limits and prepared an application to modify the pretreatment permit.

Production of renewable diesel began in late 2020. Barr continues to provide ongoing support with permit and regulatory compliance, testing, and training.

Key team members

Nick Nelson

Vice President
Senior Environmental Consultant

Greg Patten

Senior Environmental Scientist

Joel Trinkle

Vice President
Senior Air Quality Consultant

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