Oil-and-gas major Eni SpA (BIT:ENI) and NextChem, the green chemistry subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont SpA (BIT:MT), have signed an agreement to develop industrial circular economy projects in their native Italy.
The partners will run a feasibility study to assess building a new circular gas production plant within Eni’s Taranto refinery. The plant would produce new synthesis gas from plastic waste (plasmix) and dry waste through a chemical recycling process, according to a joint statement.
The research will take place parallel to ongoing engineering studies for a waste-to-hydrogen production plant at the Eni bio-refinery in Porto Marghera, Venice, and a waste-to-methanol plant at Eni’s Livorno refinery.
Gas at the Taranto site will be refined and produced through two separate channels -- hydrogen, which can be used by the refinery to assist the fuel hydrodesulphurisation process, and gas with a high carbon monoxide content, which can be used in the steelmaking industry in both blast furnace processes and the direct reduced iron (DRI) technologies.
NextChem will provide the technology based on the chemical recycling of plasmix and dry waste for the three plants. As a team, Eni and NextChem will assess the technical and economic feasibility and plants’ streams.
Eni is carrying out a strategic plan that will allow it to cut absolute net greenhouse gas (GHG) life-cycle emissions by 80% by 2050. The company plans to increase its production of green energy and develop renewables accordingly, produce biofuels from its refineries, as well as biofuels, methanol and hydrogen from waste, among other lower carbon efforts.
Application of NextChem’s technological solution could lead to a significant CO2 reduction from a life-cycle assessment perspective compared to the available waste-to-energy treatments of plasmix and dry waste post consumption, the partners said.
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