Maire Tecnimont and Dimeta Explore DME from Waste

21.02.2023 - NextChem and its subsidiary MyRechemical – both part of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont group – and Dutch company Dimeta have agreed to jointly explore new opportunities to develop plants for producing renewable and recycled carbon dimethyl ether (DME) from waste.

With its LPG-like properties, DME can be blended with conventional LPG, helping to reduce the gas’ carbon footprint with no change to appliances or infrastructure. NextChem and MyRechemical’s technologies can convert municipal solid waste to methanol and then to DME.

Under the agreement, the companies will generate business cases where Dimeta will offtake DME in ongoing waste-to-methanol projects, as well as new initiatives that specifically target producing renewable and recycled carbon DME.

The two Italian firms will also explore other opportunities with Dimeta to cooperate in R&D activities, such as producing DME from biogas and biomethane.

Dimeta CEO Frankie Ugboma said the agreement with NextChem and MyRechemical is an important milestone for the company and builds upon last May’s announcement of its first renewable and recycled carbon DME plant in the UK. The 50,000 t/y facility in Teesside is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2024.

A joint venture between clean energy company SHV Energy and LPG supplier UGI International, Dimeta was formed to advance the production and use of renewable and recycled carbon DME to accelerate the LPG industry’s transition to Net Zero.

As well as in the UK, Dimeta also plans to install plants in Europe and the US, ultimately aiming to produce 300,000 t/y of DME by the end of 2027. 

Decarbonization project in Italy

In separate news, NextChem has been awarded a feasibility study by London-headquartered investment management group Foresight for a carbon capture and sustainable methanol synthesis facility as part of Energie Tecnologie Ambiente’s (ETA) waste-to-energy plant in Manfredonia, Italy.

NextChem will be responsible for identifying the best decarbonization proposal for the plant, which aims to valorize about 200,000 t/y of CO2 that is currently emitted to the atmosphere by combining it with green hydrogen for producing sustainable fuel.

Once the study is completed, along with finalizing the necessary permits and a final investment decision, Maire Tecnimont subsidiaries will carry out engineering and construction. 

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist