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25 Jan 2023

Equinor Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Sponsor Pilot Project to Produce Low-Carbon-Intensity Fuels

Equinor Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Sponsor Pilot Project to Produce Low-Carbon-Intensity Fuels

Syzygy Plasmonics, a deep decarbonization firm, has entered into an agreement with nonprofit research institute RTI International to demonstrate low-carbon intensity fuels at the RTI facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. 

The novel technology aims to decarbonize transportation by transforming two greenhouse gases, namely, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), into fuels with low carbon intensity that can be used to substitute petroleum-based jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. The trial project is sponsored by Equinor Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.

A six-month period of testing is expected to take place, with the findings from the demonstration utilized to construct a technoeconomic analysis for creating a Syzygy e-fuels plant on a commercial scale.

The process involves utilizing a fully electric Syzygy reactor to form syngas from CO2 and CH4 through a dry methane reforming (DMR) response. This syngas is then passed through a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis unit to manufacturevarious grades of fuel. This technology could present transportation businesses and airlines with a budget-friendly optionto diminish emissions and reduce their carbon footprint.

"This demonstration will be the first of its kind and represents a disruptive step in carbon utilization. The sustainable fuels produced are expected to quickly achieve cost parity with today's fossil fuels," said Syzygy CEO Trevor Best. "Integrating our technology with RTI's Fischer-Tropsch synthesis system has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of shipping, trucking, and aviation without requiring major fleet modifications. By making minor adjustments in the process, we also expect to produce sustainable methanol using the same technology."

"We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Syzygy to test and assist in the scale-up of this promising technology," said Sameer Parvathikar, Ph.D., the director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Storage program in RTI's Technology Advancement and Commercialization business unit. "This work aligns with our capabilities, our goals of helping de-risk and commercialize novel technologies, and our vision to address the world's most critical problems with science-based solutions."

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