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NGK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop membrane dehydration systems for bioethanol and e-methanol

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

NGK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will jointly develop two membrane dehydration systems to optimise efficiency of manufacturing processes for bioethanol and e-methanol to meet expected demand growth for clean fuels and raw materials.

In this project, MHI and NGK will begin developing two types of membrane dehydration systems, one for bioethanol and e-methanol, respectively. The membrane separation system developed for bioethanol will replace the conventional dehydration process, which consumes the most energy in the bioethanol manufacturing process. This replacement is expected to achieve a significant reduction in energy required to produce bioethanol.

The second system will replace the dehydration process in the production of e-Mmethanol, which utilises hydrogen and CO2 as raw materials. By using a membrane separation system instead, the companies expect to significantly reduce energy consumption used in the manufacture of e-methanol, which is capturing attention as a next-generation clean fuel.

To this project, MHI will contribute its significant global expertise delivering methanol plants and other chemical plants, in addition to its technologies for handling methanol and various other chemicals. NGK will contribute its deep knowledge of sub-nano ceramic membrane technology and unique film deposition technology developed in the fields of chemical processes and water purification. Notably, NGK has developed the world's largest ceramic membranes, which are known for their separation accuracy and durability. In the context of forecasted demand growth for both bioethanol and e-methanol as clean, raw materials and fuels, MHI and NGK will jointly drive forward the development of these systems achieve real-word deployment and establishment of a stable supply system.

Bioethanol is a clean fuel derived from plants, primarily corn and sugarcane, and is widely used as automotive fuel in the US and Brazil. It is also expected to contribute to the growth of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as one of its main raw materials. e-methanol is gaining attention as a next-generation clean fuel, primarily for marine fuel, and is expected to grow as a market globally.

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