Innovation and New Technologies
OMV actively explores alternative feedstock, technologies, and fuels with the aim of developing a well-diversified, competitive future portfolio. Efforts and resources focus on the production of sustainable biofuels and advanced fuels, future energy for transportation, and innovative solutions to improve the carbon footprint of our products.
OMV is systematically developing new technologies, such as Co-Processing to improve the quality and stability of fuels with biogenic components. Traditionally, the biogenic component is blended into the fuel after production. Co-Processing introduces the biogenic feedstock as early as the production process. This concept enables OMV to produce transportation fuels from various biogenic feedstock, such as domestic rapeseed oil, used cooking oil, or algae oil using existing refinery plants. In 2019, OMV continued its development efforts in the field of Co-Processing of renewable feedstock through additional testing in laboratories and pilot plants. The focus was on fine-tuning the technical concept in terms of product quality, biogenic yields, and utility consumption.
OMV is also active in the production of advanced fuels that are not in direct competition with food. Therefore, OMV is collaborating with Verbund AG on the UpHy project to demonstrate the production of green hydrogen for use in the mobility sector and in the refining process. Within this strategic partnership, options for using green hydrogen to hydrogenate CO2, for reducing carbon emissions from industrial facilities, and for producing synthetic fuels and chemicals (power-to-X) are also being evaluated. In addition, OMV participates in various funded research projects with external partners, e.g., enzymatic conversion of CO2 and hydrogen to alcohols and subsequent refining to bio-jet fuel in collaboration with TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology). Others are the liquefaction of biowaste to bio-based crude oil together with Montanuniversität Leoben or the pyrolysis of biowaste to bio-oil as part of a European Research project.
At the beginning of 2018, the European Commission introduced the new Circular Economy Package with the aim of increasing the recycling rates for plastics and minimizing the release of plastics into the environment. Refinery post-consumer and post-industrial plastics are already being recycled into synthetic crude oil in a pyrolysis process in OMV’s ReOil® pilot plant at the Schwechat refinery (a proprietary OMV technology). This synthetic crude can be processed into any desired refinery product. Completion of the mechanical aspects of the pilot plant with a capacity of 100 kg/h was reached at the end of 2017. In 2019, OMV operated and further improved the pilot plant to prepare the next scale-up steps to industrial scale.
OMV is actively involved in the development of alternative fuels for major mobility applications in order to stay abreast of market developments relating to reducing emissions.
OMV holds 40% of SMATRICS, Austria’s largest e-mobility provider. SMATRICS currently operates 461 charging points at 165 publicly accessible locations. SMATRICS is also an enabler of e-mobility and offers complete B2C and B2B service packages. OMV also works with IONITY – High-Power Charging. This is available at seven OMV locations with more planned in the near future. With the OMV e-mobility card, ROUTEX customers can seamlessly use their fuel of choice.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) can reduce CO2 and particulate emissions from vehicles by 20% and 90%, respectively. To exploit this potential, OMV is conducting a strategic evaluation on LNG as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles. Initial activities with industrial partners to increase utilization of the existing CNG network in Austria have commenced.
As a pioneer in hydrogen mobility, OMV currently operates five hydrogen filling stations in Austria and is a joint venture partner of H2 MOBILITY, whose goal is to operate a Germany-wide hydrogen filling station network by the end of 2023. Several initiatives for the production and use of hydrogen are being promoted by OMV across a number of sectors. These are aimed at unlocking the potential of the fuel and positioning OMV accordingly.