Chevron announces first 100% renewable base oil production (Press Release with not much info yet)

Kendall, FL



"Chevron Products Company, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and Novvi LLC announced yesterday the first production of 100% renewable base oil from Novvi’s Deer Park, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., Facility.
“As part of our aim to find more reliable, affordable and ever-cleaner solutions that scale, Chevron remains committed to our investment in and technology development with Novvi LLC,” said Colleen Cervantes, Chevron Lubricants president. “This milestone reflects the focus in our partnership despite the recent pandemic-related downturn, and we are excited about the future.”

Chevron is an equity investor in Novvi LLC, a California-based company that engages in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of high-performance base oils from renewable sources. The agreement was announced in 2016.

This development is the latest in a series of Chevron announcements signaling its commitment to the energy transition and climate change focused on three areas: 1) lowering carbon intensity cost efficiently, 2) increasing renewables in support of its business, and 3) investing in the future targeting breakthrough technologies.

“Novvi is focused on delivering renewable solutions—essential chemicals and products for the industrial fluids and lubricants markets—without trade-offs in performance, price, or availability,” said Jeff Brown, Novvi president and CEO.

Chevron is a leading manufacturer of premium base oils and one of the world’s largest suppliers of finished lubricants. It has one of the world’s largest base oil manufacturing platforms through its own refining network and its base oil licensing technology position.

The Chevron-Novvi partnership leverages the complementary technologies of Chevron’s long-standing expertise in hydroprocessing, particularly ISODEWAXING, with Novvi’s innovative use of renewable feedstocks to produce and market high-performance, synthetic and renewable premium base oils.

Chevron markets ISODEWAXING technology worldwide through its joint venture partnership with Lummus Technology, Chevron Lummus Global, and has a long history of leadership in enabling premium base oils production for the lubricants industry since its invention in 1993.

The unique production process and molecules are expected to offer even higher performance than conventional and synthetic base oils, with the advantage of being produced from renewable feedstocks."

Novvi has developed renewable products through its technology platform that are also applicable in plastics, rubber, personal care, wax, and electric vehicle fluids. The invention and scale of this technology is designed to provide more choice to manufacturers aiming to improve performance and reduce the carbon intensity of their products.
Interesting. Here is an additional Link with some information.
Seems to use "plant sugars"...weird, is that for real? I could see plant based oils being converted, but sugar?

From Davejam's link: " Using NovaSpec Base Oils reduces greenhouse gas emissions, from sourcing to manufacturing to applications."

So is that the appeal here--it requires less energy to get the raw material (plant sugar or dino oil) into motor oil, than dino or "real" synthetic oil?
I recall Novvi's stuff being very interesting, performance-wise, a few years back. I tried to integrate some of their products back when I was formulating, but the costs were just untenable for what I was trying to do. Maybe this will help bring it in line with other fluids and it'll be easier for formulators to make it work now.


Staff member
Iowegia - USA
from De Rosa's Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Processes:
Assuming an average insolation of 225 W per square meter, the photosynthetic efficiency of sugar cane is 0.38%....This, however, does not include the energy used in tilling, transportation, and so on. Thus, the solar energy-to-ethanol conversion efficiency is 0.13%..."

I don't know what they are currently doing with sugar cane feedstocks as most of NOVVI's research in the past has centered on a modified PAO using terpene's from plants.

these guys did some NMR studies to obtain some chemical analyses:

LOTS of technology these days + when it can be profitable it WILL be used. interesting reading about the steady improvements making better lubricants for less $$$$ as we all know PROFITS $$$$$ drive EVERYTHING! love reading on as well + thanks to all for links to many great articles!!