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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries invests in clean hydrogen maker Monolith Materials

December 02/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI; Tokyo) has completed a capital investment in Monolith Materials, which is building a worldscale emissions-free hydrogen plant in Hallam, Nebraska. Terms were not disclosed, said Chemweek.

Monoliths technology is based on methane pyrolysis, which generates 3 metric tons of carbon black for every ton of hydrogen produced. The turquoise hydrogen at the Hallam plant will be combined with nitrogen using the Haber-Bosch process to make ammonia.

MHI, an industrial conglomerate with operations that include power, defense, and transport systems and machinery, said the investment will give it a position in the clean hydrogen value chain. "While we're evaluating a number of clean-energy development options, Monolith offers great promise," said Yoshihiro Shiraiwa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America. "We're excited to be the first in a new wave of strategic investors supporting the development of their technology."

Monolith started its Olive Creek 1 (OC1) reactor at Hallam, which can produce approximately 14,000 metric tons/year of carbon black, in late September. Its recently announced investment, OC2, will add 12 additional reactors. Monolith expects construction on the new units to begin in 2021, with startup planned for 2024. The facility will produce 180,000 metric tons/year of carbon black.

"Successfully scaling Monolith's technology to serve a global marketplace will benefit from the kind of investment that we have from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries," said Rob Hanson, co-founder and CEO of Monolith Materials. "This relationship will be a model for evaluating future investment opportunities to make emissions-free hydrogen the standard around the world."

Monolith is backed by Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital LLC, and Warburg Pincus. The company has raised USD275 million since its founding in 2014, excluding the latest MHI Investment.

As  MRC informed earlier, Mitsubishi Chemical, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, plans to resume production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in Otake, Japan, in early December after scheduled repairs. The company closed this plant with a capacity of 110,000 tonnes/year of MMA for scheduled repairs in early September this year.

The main application, consuming approximately 75% MMA, is in the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, October total production of unmixed PVC grew to 86,600 tonnes from 86,000 tonnes a month earlier, SayanskKhimPlast and Bashkir Soda Company increased their capacity utilisation. Overall output of polymer was 805,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, which virtually corresponds to the last year"s figure. Two producers increased their production, whereas two other manufacturers reduced their output.

Mitsubishi Chemical, a Japanese integrated chemical company, was established on October 1, 1990 through the merger of Mitsubishi Kasei and Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co. Due to its wide range of activities, it is one of the ten leading chemical companies in the world.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PVC, PP, PE, Mitsubishi Chemical.
Category:General News
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