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Perstorp reveals Project AIR carbon capture to methanol plans

In Sweden, specialty chemicals major Perstorp Group (Perstorp) has revealed plans to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 500 000 tonnes by producing sustainable methanol. Project AIR, as the project is called, aims to build a first-of-a-kind, large-scale, commercial Carbon Capture, and Utilization (CCU) unit to produce sustainable methanol.

Perstorp has revealed its Project AIR plans to cut carbon emission by half-million tonnes by producing sustainable methanol derived from captured carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, renewable hydrogen, and biomethane (photo courtesy Perstorp).

According to a statement, the methanol plant will be unique in the sense that it is a combined CCU and gasification process where carbon dioxide (CO2), residue streams, renewable hydrogen, and biomethane (aka renewable natural gas) will be converted to methanol. Perstorp plans to do this in cooperation with energy majors Fortum and Uniper, and biomethane producer Nature Energy.

This innovation would both optimize the use of existing technologies whilst building something completely new, as well as demonstrating carbon capture and utilization, using captured CO2 as a raw material. It would be a concrete example of the transition towards a circular economy and of how significant CO2 emission reductions could be achieved by utilizing existing resources and closing loops. This would be an important step for us to achieve our goal of becoming Finite Material Neutral, said Jan Secher, President and CEO of Perstorp.

Methanol a key platform chemical

Methanol is one of the most important raw materials for the chemical industry. Project AIR aims to substitute all of the 200 000 tonnes of fossil methanol that Perstorp uses annually in Europe as a raw material for chemical products.

The project would support companies downstream in the value chains in their efforts towards renewable/circular materials, reduced carbon footprints, and in their ability to offer sustainable, affordable products. If completed, Project AIR will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 500 000 tonnes annually.

Assuming the required funding is granted, Perstorp plans to build the methanol plant in Stenungsund, Sweden, utilize its own CO2 and residue streams, and use the methanol to substitute all the fossil methanol used in its production in Europe. The goal is to start producing sustainable methanol in 2025.

Partners Fortum and Uniper plan to supply renewable hydrogen from a new electrolysis plant, while Nature Energy, one of the world’s largest producers of biogas will seek to supply RNG to Project AIR.

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