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Eni and NextChem to develop circular district technologies

Jun 29, 2020
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Eni and NextChem, the Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiary for green chemistry, strengthen their partnership.

The partnership will conduct research for a new project to be developed in Taranto, in addition to ongoing engineering studies for a waste-to-hydrogen production plant at the Eni bio refinery in Venice, Porto Marghera, and for a waste-to-methanol production plant at the Eni refinery in Livorno.

This phase is aimed at assessing the feasibility of a plant within the Taranto refinery for the production of new synthesis gas from plasmix and dry waste through a chemical recycling process. The gas produced will be then refined and produced through two separate channels: hydrogen, which can be used by the Eni refinery to assist the fuel hydrodesulphurization process; gas with a high carbon monoxide content which can be used by the steel mill both in blast furnace processes and the new Direct Reduced Iron technologies. These studies could make a significant contribution in terms of decarbonisation or the steel industry.

NextChem is working on the industrial application of the project. An Eni-NextChem joint team will assess the technical and economic feasibility and plants’ streams. The involvement of local institutions will be crucial.

The agreement signed is part of the long-term strategy which will make Eni a leader in the production and commercialisation of decarbonised products. Eni is implementing a strategic plan which is unique in the industry and which will allow the company to reduce absolute net GHG lifecycle emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Eni will increase its production of green energy, thus developing renewables. It will also produce gas, LNG and hydrogen from gas and from bio feedstocks, removing CO2 through sequestration and storage projects; and it will produce bio fuels from its bio refineries as well as bio fuels, methanol and hydrogen from waste.

Eni said it will produce chemical products from renewables and first and secondary feedstocks. In particular, NextChem’s technological solution could lead to a significant CO2 reduction from a Life Cycle Assessment perspective, when compared with the available waste to energy treatments of plasmix and dry waste post consumption. Leveraging the principles of the circular economy, the projects are set to have a positive impact on the environment.

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