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Johnson Matthey technology chosen to produce sustainable methanol for Perstorp Group’s Project Air

| By Mary Bailey

Johnson Matthey plc (JM; London) has been selected to provide the methanol license and engineering services for Perstorp AB’s (Malmö, Sweden) ground-breaking Project Air in Stenungsund, Sweden.  

The initiative – which will substitute all the fossil methanol used by Perstorp in Europe as raw material for chemical products with sustainable methanol – is expected to be fully operational by 2026 and is a cooperation between Perstorp and Uniper. 

The new plant will operate a first-of-a-kind Carbon Capture Utilisation (CCU) process at an industrial level – converting carbon dioxide emissions from Perstorp’s operations, together with biogas and renewable hydrogen to create sustainable methanol.  

Methanol is an important building block in chemistry. It is used in the production of chemical intermediates like formaldehyde, acetic acid, and olefins, which are then used to manufacture everyday products – such as furniture, cars, buildings, cleaning agents, glass, paint, animal feed, and electronics. 

The project has received €97 million funding from the European Union Innovation Fund which supports green technology projects in the EU, and approximately €30 million from the Swedish Energy Agency. 

Alberto Giovanzana, Managing Director of Catalyst Technologies at Johnson Matthey said: “The chemical industry has often depended on fossil-based raw materials to produce products. Moving away from fossil feedstock at the beginning of the value chain is crucial to reduce the overall carbon footprint of end products.  

“Project Air demonstrates how JM’s low carbon solutions technologies can create more sustainable chemicals on a large-scale, significantly reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing.” 

Håkan Kihlberg, VP Strategic Projects at Perstorp said: “We are happy to take this next step towards realising Project Air together with Johnson Matthey technology. This is not only important for us and our journey towards climate neutrality but will also help reduce the carbon footprint of thousands of end products. We hope that it will inspire the chemical industry to find innovative ways of reducing fossil dependence.”  

Using CCU to help our customers convert their waste streams into products is aligned with JM’s new strategy, utilising our syngas expertise to help our customers reduce CO₂ emissions from their existing operations.