Eni has signed an agreement with Maire Tecnimont's green chemistry subsidiary NextChem to transform non-recyclable waste into hydrogen and methanol.
The companies agreed to develop and implement a conversion technology which will use high-temperature gasification to produce hydrogen and methanol from solid urban waste and non-recyclable plastic. A press release from Eni noted that this process would have "minimal environmental impact."
"This technological partnership with Eni, a leader in the sector, is an exceptionally important step for our green acceleration project," said Maire Tecnimont Group CEO Pierroberto Folgiero. "Energy transition requires the industrialisation of new transformation processes, and with NextChem we are ready to respond to the growing demand for change."
This technology could be used at Eni's industrial sites in Italy, and the company has already expressed interest in implementing a waste to hydrogen project at its bio-refinery in Venice. It carried out a feasibility study for the project in collaboration with NextChem.
Within the framework of this agreement, Eni would be positioned as the co-developer of NextChem's technology. It will also provide a tangible example of the circular economy: It reuses hundreds of thousands of tonnes of nonrecyclable waste to produce chemical products and fuel. This will contribute to environmental sustainability at Eni's industrial sites, forming part of an increasingly integrated and efficient system designed to contain and reduce atmospheric emissions of CO².
"This partnership will see Eni acquire highly innovative technology," said Guiseppe Ricci, Eni's chief refining and marketing officer. "When this technology is combined with the rich technological assets that Eni has accumulated over decades of refining, it will help to establish a tangible circular economic process whereby fuel is produced from waste with low environmental impact."