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Messer commences operations of Keyes carbon dioxide plant in California

In the United States (US), Messer Americas, a subsidiary of Germany-headed Messer Group GmbH (Messer) has announced that it has started operation of its new Keyes, California (CA) carbon dioxide (CO2) plant. The new plant provides up to 450 tonnes-per-day CO2, which is used in carbonated beverages, in the food freezing and chilling as well as in the electronics industry in the area. The raw CO2 is supplied by advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc.

In the United States (US), Messer Americas (Messer) has started operation of its new Keyes, California (CA) carbon dioxide (CO2) plant using raw CO2 piped from the adjacent Aemetis ethanol plant (photo courtesy Messer).

Messer Group is the world’s largest family-run industrial gas specialist and Messer Americas operates two additional CO2 plants and two air separation units in California (CA). Aemetis has commenced deliveries under a long-term agreement with Messer to supply raw carbon dioxide (CO2) to the newly-constructed, state-of-the-art CO2 plant.

The Keyes plant further enhances our CO2 network reliability for customers. This investment solidifies our position in the US market, and it is especially important as the CO2 market faces supply challenges. We’re proud of our experienced team of experts who worked through unusual start-up conditions associated with the Corona pandemic to bring this plant on stream, explained Jens Luehring, President, and CEO, Messer Americas.

The new CO2 plant is located adjacent to the 65 million (US) gallon (246 million litre) per annum Aemetis ethanol plant in Keyes. For the past two years, Aemetis worked closely with Messer on the construction of a new CO2 facility which is connected via pipeline to the Aemetis ethanol production facility.

Aemetis anticipates selling Messer approximately 450 tonnes of raw CO2 daily from the company’s ethanol fermentation process. Messer will then purify and convert the supplied CO2 into liquid form, which it sells to a variety of customers in carbonated beverages, food freezing and chilling as well as in the electronics industry.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of liquid CO2 has been significantly disrupted in California and throughout the United States as ethanol production plants have decreased production rates. The Messer plant will serve existing and new customers in Northern California and surrounding states via truck and rail.

Aemetis is pleased to be supplying Messer with raw CO2 gas, especially in this time of critical need. It is essential that California’s supply of CO2 remain uninterrupted for the many industries that depend on this important product, said Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.

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