Eni and NextChem, the Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiary for green chemistry, strengthen their partnership 1 year after their first agreement. This 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 hydrodesulphurisation 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’ processes. The involvement of local institutions will be crucial.
The agreement 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% 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 biofuels from its bio refineries as well as bio fuels, methanol and hydrogen from waste. Furthermore, 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.
NextChem technological innovation is one of the most significant of its kind developed in last few years within the circular economy and energy transition fields and applies to the green recovery of brownfield sites of traditional and heavy industries. Chemical products with a circular origin based on this technology reduce the need for extraction of fossil origin resources and contribute to the decarbonisation of relevant industrial sectors, supplying the transport sector – which is contributing significantly to global CO2 emissions – with low carbon fuels. This is one of the NextChem’s drivers for the energy transition, with over 30 innovative projects in its portfolio with proprietary technologies, international licenses and technological integration contracts and EPC.