Distretto Circolare Verde

The Green Circular District model expanded in July 2020, when NextChem and LanzaTech signed an agreement to produce circular ethanol through the chemical conversion of hydrogen and carbon in Plasmix and RDF. With LanzaTech’s syngas fermentation technology, ethanol is produced by bacteria, transforming the Circular Gas™ at a low temperature and low pressure, improving the sustainability of the entire process. NextChem will exclusively license this technology for Italy with targeted agreements for foreign markets. The circular ethanol produced from this process can be mixed with gasoline, replacing fossil components, with a lower carbon footprint. When produced from dry waste containing non-fossil fractions, 40% of circular ethanol can be regarded as “advanced”, according to the European Renewable Energy Directive. Ethanol, all of which is imported in Italy, is also an important intermediate for a number of chemical components, such as ethyl acetate and alcohol used as a disinfectant.

Together with its subsidiary MyReplast Industries, NextChem has launched the MyReplastTM brand, showcasing its proprietary Upcycling technology and product portfolio, which includes granulates and flakes made from recycled polymers. MyReplastTM Upcycling is NextChem’s innovative technology that combines mechanical recycling with chemical processing. This technology is in use in a plant run by MyReplast Industries, a NextChem subsidiary, in Bedizzole (Brescia). It has a capacity of 40,000 tons per year and a recycling efficiency of around 95%. It allows for flexible production of premium quality bespoke products, made according to customer specifications, using post-consumer hard plastic. Available as granulates and flakes, these new recycled products have similar chemical and physical properties to virgin polymers derived from fossil sources.

To meet the market’s needs, NextChem recently launched its new subsidiary, MyRechemical, which offers the most innovative technological solutions for the circular economy. MyRechemical uses chemistry for the non-recyclable plastics and also employs waste to chemical processes. It’s also fully dedicated to chemical waste conversion processes to produce hydrogen, methanol, ethanol and circular derivatives. Through this additional initiative, NextChem can offer a complete and integrated platform to recover all types of plastic waste on an industrial scale. The circular products obtained through recovery by chemical waste conversion cuts CO2 emissions when used as a substitute for hydrocarbon products and avoids the emissions created through the incineration of waste, thereby increasing its recycling rate.

Speaking of electrolysis, NextChem and Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding linked to a project for the production of green hydrogen by electrolysis, which is expected to be operational in 2023. The project will use renewable energy generated by one of the EGPNA solar plants in the United States, to produce the green hydrogen that will be supplied to a biorefinery. Under the agreement, NextChem will act as a technological and engineering partner, as well as a full turnkey EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor, providing Enel Green Power with the technical assistance needed for the project’s development and implementation.

NextChem and JFE Engineering Corporation have signed an agreement for the production of low-carbon-footprint chemicals, with the aim of providing an integrated technology platform for waste-to-chemical technology. The aim of the agreement is to jointly develop a model that views waste as a resource to produce advanced fuels, fertilizers and low-carbon chemicals. The chemical conversion process of waste into syngas and the use of this intermediate to produce circular hydrogen, advanced fuels and many other products contributes to the decarbonisation of production processes and improves the carbon footprint when products reach their final use.