NW Natura | July 28, 2022
NW Natural, a 163-year-old gas utility based in Portland, announced a partnership with Washington-based Modern Electron to create clean hydrogen directly from natural gas and blend it into its existing natural gas distribution network.
The innovative technology process known as concurrent combustion methane pyrolysis is designed to produce clean hydrogen and solid carbon using only natural gas and air as inputs – and does not require any electricity, water, or consumable catalyst. “This technology could provide an incredibly elegant and flexible way of producing clean hydrogen – and potentially at a very low cost whenever and wherever we need it on our system to help decarbonize,” said Kim Heiting, Sr. Vice President of Operations for NW Natural. The technology, which is planned for pilot at NW Natural’s Central Portland facility, is one of many solutions the utility is pursuing in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for the energy it delivers to customers, as detailed in its Destination Zero report.
Hydrogen created by this clean pyrolysis process has the potential to be used for heating in industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Solid carbon resulting from the process could be turned into products such as asphalt, construction materials, automobile tires and soil amendments.
This project will be the first in a line of scheduled gas utility installations from Modern Electron, the suburban Seattle-based sustainable heat and power technology company.
“The fastest and most economical way to reduce CO2 emissions at a national scale is to effectively leverage existing infrastructure. By decarbonizing natural gas at the point of use, our Modern Hydrogen products help businesses reduce their carbon footprints without the cost and complexity of changing their processes. We are all about decarbonization. And we are excited about our partnership with NW Natural,”
Mothusi Pahl, Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs
About Modern Electron
Modern Electron is a sustainable heat & hydrogen company. Modern Electron’s gas decarbonization products are designed to generate cost-effective hydrogen from natural gas at the point of use without CO2 emissions. This “Modern Hydrogen” approach eliminates the logistics, costs, and emissions associated with traditional hydrogen generation, transportation, and storage. Built for continuous hydrogen supply in process heat, power generation, and environmental/space/water heating, Modern Electron's proprietary Concurrent Combustion and Pyrolysis technology has the ability to accelerate decarbonization. North American gas utilities trust Modern Electron for cost-effective clean hydrogen in industrial, commercial, residential, and transit sectors.
About NW Natural
NW Natural is a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through more than 780,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. NW Natural consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. NW Natural, a part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has been doing business for more than 160 years. NW Holdings owns NW Natural, NW Natural Renewables Holdings. and other business interests. We have a longstanding commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and taking care of our employees and communities.
Inter Pipeline Ltd. | July 06, 2022
Inter Pipeline Ltd. announced it has successfully commissioned its polypropylene plant and has begun initial production. Branded Heartland Polymers the operation is the only one of its kind in North America, offering the market one of only two new sources of PP in over a decade. Due to its unique location, modern design and technology and transport optionality, Heartland is expected to be one of the most sustainably produced, reliable options in the industry.
"A safe commissioning of our polypropylene plant is a crucial step towards commercial production of Heartland Polymers. The PP Plant has been producing pellets since late June with polymer grade propylene from our storage cavern. The entire Heartland Complex remains on schedule for an integrated start-up in the third quarter of this year, at which point Heartland will begin commercial production."
Jim Madro, Senior Vice President, Petrochemicals
Construction of the Heartland Petrochemical Complex began in early 2018, and it is expected to convert locally sourced, low-cost propane into 525,000 tonnes per year of PP, a high value, multi-use plastic that is easily transported and can be recycled. This polymer is used in the manufacturing of a range of finished products such as food packaging, textiles, healthcare products and medical supplies. Once fully in-service Heartland is expected to create a step change in annual cash flow generation for Inter Pipeline, with approximately 70 per cent of the output contracted on a nine-year weighted average.
Industry Leading Reliability
The PP plant was commissioned using PGP feedstock from a cavern at Inter Pipeline's Redwater Olefinic Fractionator. The primary source of feedstock will be an on-site PDH plant, where propane will be turned into PGP. The propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant is expected to enter integrated service with the PP plant in the third quarter of this year, making it the first integrated complex of its kind in North America. The optionality of both the storage cavern and direct on-site PGP production ensures exceptional reliability for customers.
Deliberate design and technology choices paired with local feedstock means Heartland is expected to generate 65 per cent less greenhouse gas than average global PP facilities around the world. Due to its integrated nature, the Complex is designed to utilize by-products ethane and hydrogen to fuel power production in the cogeneration unit (CUB) to make up approximately 32 per cent of the operation's total fuel usage, reducing the total carbon footprint by approximately 130,000 tonnes annually. Additionally, the design choice to utilize air cooling instead of water cooling in the operation has a significant impact on the amount of water used at Heartland. When fully in service, the Complex is expected to utilize 80 per cent less make-up water than water cooled operations.
About Inter Pipeline Ltd.
Inter Pipeline is a major petroleum transportation and natural gas liquids processing business based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Inter Pipeline owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in Western Canada including the Heartland Petrochemical Complex.
The Dow Chemical Company | July 22, 2022
Dow the world's leading materials science company, and Mura Technology, the global pioneer of an advanced plastic recycling solution, today announce the next step in their partnership to help solve the global plastic waste issue with the intention to construct multiple world-scale 120 kilotons (KT) advanced recycling facilities in the U.S. and Europe – collectively adding as much as 600 KT of annual capacity.
Dow will play an important role in the partnership as a key off-taker of the circular feed that Mura produces. This circular feed, derived from plastic waste currently destined for landfill or incineration, reduces reliance on fossil-based feedstocks and will enable Dow to produce a recycled plastic feedstock for the development of new, virgin-grade plastics which are in high demand from global brands. By working together, Dow and Mura will ensure plastic has a viable way to be re-circulated into global supply chains, helping to advance a circular economy for plastics and increase the value of plastic waste.
These planned capital investments by Mura, as well as Dow's off-take agreements, represent both companies' largest commitment to date to advance and scale global advanced recycling capabilities.
"The strengthening of Dow and Mura's partnership is another example of how Dow is working to build momentum around breakthrough advanced recycling technologies. By investing in new applications, Dow is working to meet the increased demand for recycled material from its customers and make a meaningful impact on the supply chain, helping to close the loop on plastic waste. Dow is committed to accelerating a circular economy for plastics and our expanded partnership with Mura marks a significant step on this journey. As a long-term partner, we are excited about the potential of this process to recycle plastics and help solve the plastic waste challenge."
Marc van den Biggelaar, Advanced Recycling Director for Dow
"This partnership continues to create momentum for Dow as we move towards feedstock flexibility and diversification, which is essential if we wish to advance a circular economy for plastics," said Diego Donoso, President of Packaging & Specialty Plastics for Dow. "And a fully circular business model for plastics will also enable decarbonization and support us on the road to net zero."
This marks an important milestone in the rapid scaling of Mura's revolutionary HydroPRS™ advanced recycling process, which can be used to recycle all forms of plastic, including flexible and multi-layer plastics, which have previously been deemed 'unrecyclable'. Once deployed at scale, it has the capability to prevent millions of tons of plastic and carbon dioxide from entering the environment every year and create the ingredients for a sustainable, circular plastics economy ─ a mission which Dow is jointly committed to and supporting with materials science expertise.
"The global plastics issue is one of the most pressing environmental issues to date – there is simply no time to waste. Mura's technology is designed to champion a global circular plastics economy, and our partnership with Dow is a key enabler to bringing HydroPRSTM to every corner of the globe. This next step in our partnership and the resources provided by Dow will allow us to finance and dramatically increase recycling capacity and enable circular plastics to enter global supply chains at scale."
Dr. Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology
The world's first plant using Mura's HydroPRS™ process, located in Teesside, U.K., is expected to be operational in 2023 with a 20 KT per year production line set to supply Dow with a 100% recycled feedstock. The extended partnership is set to considerably increase this supply, playing a significant role in Dow and Mura's planned global rollout of as much as 600 KT of advanced recycling capacity by 2030.
Dow's extensive global reach will enable the scale-up of Mura's technology through multiple projects in the U.S. and Europe. These plans include potential co-location opportunities, which will provide significant integration benefits for Mura's plants.
Complementary to the progress in advanced recycling are Dow's other projects in mechanical recycling and the waste ecosystem announced today.
An investment to build the single largest single hybrid recycling site in France, managed by Valoregen, that will secure a source of post-consumer resins (PCR) for Dow.
A Letter of Intent with Nexus Circular to create a circular ecosystem in Dallas, Texas, for previously non-recycled plastic building on its previous Hefty® EnergyBag® collaboration with Nexus and Reynolds Consumer Products.
Hydrothermal technology offers the scale to solve the plastic issue
Mura's unique hydrothermal recycling process, HydroPRS™, breaks down plastics using water in the form of supercritical steam. The steam acts like molecular scissors, cutting longer-chain hydrocarbon bonds in plastics to produce the valuable chemicals and oils from which the plastic was originally made – in as little as 25 minutes.
These oils – equivalent to the original fossil products – are then used to produce new, virgin-grade plastic with no limit to the number of times the same material can be processed, creating a true circular economy for plastic waste. Importantly, the products may be suitable for use in food-contact packaging, unlike conventional recycling processes.
Mura's innovative process can recycle all forms of plastic waste including those considered 'unrecyclable', such as films, pots, tubs and trays, that can currently only be incinerated or sent to landfill. The process is designed to work alongside conventional recycling and wider initiatives to reduce and reuse plastic such as mechanical recycling which remains crucial to Dow's recycling strategy.
Using supercritical steam means the technology is also inherently scalable. Unlike other methods, which heat waste from the outside, the steam imparts energy from the inside, providing an efficient conversion of plastic waste; a process which can be maintained regardless of scale.
Dow joins other major global players such as KBR Inc., the U.S. multinational engineering services company, Wood, the global consulting and engineering company, and others, as partners to accelerate the deployment of Mura's technology worldwide. The technology is also backed by environmental group, Ocean Generation, which is campaigning to tackle the plastic waste issue.
Dow combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries.