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JM technology selected for Haru Oni methanol project

UK-headed Johnson Matthey plc (JM), a leader in sustainable technologies, including those that are critical for sustainable fuels and chemicals, has announced an agreement to supply cutting-edge technologies, equipment, and advisory services to the world’s first methanol plant to harness energy from the wind, the Haru Oni project in Chile.

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Siemens Energy and Porsche, together with partners, are implementing a pilot project in Patagonia, Chile that is to result in the world’s first integrated and commercial large-scale plant for the production of synthetic, climate-neutral electro-fuels (graphic courtesy Siemens Energy).

The Haru Oni project, which is being developed in Patagonia, Chile by Siemens Energy in partnership with Johnson Matthey and several other major corporations, including Porsche, will become the world’s first integrated and commercial large-scale plant to produce climate-neutral e-methanol and e-gasoline.

Advancing the production of e-fuels is an important step in the energy transition, as e-fuels offer similar performance to gasoline and diesel but are produced using renewable energy.

Supply methanol technology

As a solutions provider for syngas decarbonisation, JM will license methanol technology and supply the engineering, catalyst, and equipment for the groundbreaking project. The JM-designed unit will take atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as feedstock for the conversion to e-methanol.

This CO2 will be recovered by direct air capture (DAC) and combined with green hydrogen, produced from water proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis.

Using JM’s latest innovative catalyst, the pilot unit will further demonstrate JM’s lead in the area of green chemicals and fuels, and commitment to decarbonisation and sustainability.

Major electro-fuels project

In Haru Oni’s initial pilot phase, the unit will be capable of producing around 900 000 litres per annum of e-methanol as early as 2022.

In two further phases, capacity is then to be increased to about 55 million litres of e-fuels per annum by 2024, and around 550 million litres of e-fuels per annum by 2026, sufficient for about 220 000 gasoline vehicles at 50 litres use per week.

We are very excited to be collaborating again with Siemens Energy for this pioneering project to convert wind energy into clean, green, net-zero chemicals and fuels for a cleaner, healthier world. It is the culmination of two years’ work and a testament to their confidence in JM’s engineering expertise and ability to successfully design and help deliver methanol plants at all scales and feedstocks. We are looking forward to this first phase of the project concluding successfully and collaborating on the next ambitious phases, said John Gordon, Managing Director, Johnson Matthey.

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