M2X and SCGC Partner to Reduce Methane Emissions, Streamline Production of Methanol from Stranded Gas

19 January 2024

M2X Energy, a startup company with process technology that converts stranded natural gas into low-carbon methanol, and SCG Chemicals (SCGC), a leading petrochemicals company that is committed to developing sustainable chemicals and clean energy solutions, have strengthened their existing relationship by announcing a joint development program to optimize key chemical transformations within M2X’s modular process. By leveraging the extensive catalyst R&D and manufacturing expertise of SCGC and the deep process design and engineering knowledge from M2X Energy, this collaboration aims to streamline the catalytic steps to form methanol from syngas intermediates. The partnership seeks to identify novel catalyst formulations that can increase catalyst activity, lower byproduct formation, and improve catalyst lifetime. If successful, the use of tailored catalysts in M2X units will increase the value of the as-formed products, reduce process and maintenance requirements, and improve system reliability and uptime.

The development of commercial methanol catalysts has benefited from decades of fundamental and practical research and represents the collective, best-available performance in catalyst reactivity, selectivity, and stability. These catalysts have been employed on current M2X gas-to-methanol units, with demonstrably successful outcomes. While existing commercial catalysts address a broad range of challenges encountered within conventional methanol plants, the unique conditions within the M2X process provide an opportunity for additional formulation work, which could yield catalysts tailored to the specific requirements for distributed methanol production using M2X’s partial-oxidation reformer technology. Focused research, relying on the field experience and laboratory capabilities available at M2X and SCGC, will shorten the product development timelines. The collaboration brings together technical staff with expertise in catalyst design, reactor testing, accelerated catalyst aging protocols, and advanced materials characterization.

This partnership presents opportunities to provide M2X with a technological advantage and to broaden SCGC’s product portfolio. The successful outcomes from this development program will build on a recent milestone—M2X’s first-of-a-kind modular plant was deployed at an oil well site in North Dakota (USA) in September 2023. “Building on the momentum of our recent field demonstration, this partnership with SCGC could further intensify M2X’s process, through better catalysts. This work enables refinements to our compact, transportable plants that utilize stranded gas that is often otherwise flared or vented,” notes Paul Yelvington, Chief Science Officer at M2X.

From an early stage of M2X’s journey as a company, SCGC has played an important role as a partner and strategic investor, beginning with the startup’s Series A fundraise. This joint development agreement highlights SCGC’s continued commitment to help bring solutions to market that curtail the detrimental climate effects of flaring or venting natural gas. “Methane is a potent GHG problem globally and at SCGC, we are committed to innovate new solutions to help our partners and clients achieve their emission goals. We are excited to collaborate further with M2X. SCGC’s expertise in catalyst R&D will further accelerate M2X’s technology development following their successful field trial runs. We are also enthusiastic about the potential deployment of M2X’s modular units to convert methane emissions to low carbon methanol all over Asia,” said SCGC’s Dr. Suracha Udomsak, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President-New Business.

M2X and SCGC’s collaboration aligns with the key priority to reduce methane emissions that was underscored at the recent COP28 conference in Dubai and could play an important role in supporting widespread government and industry efforts towards methane mitigation.

About M2X Energy

M2X Energy Inc. is focused on stranded gas conversion into low-carbon chemicals. Founded in 2020, its mission is to address flaring and venting by creating valuable products from otherwise wasted gas, reducing methane emissions, and producing low-carbon chemicals such as methanol and hydrogen. For more information, please visit www.m2x.energy.

About SCG Chemicals

SCGC has consistently operated and extended its business over the past four decades and is the core business that delivers exceptional performance results for SCG Group. A leading innovation company, its main business is the production of plastic resins or polymers molded into products used in our everyday lives such as food packaging, automotive parts, medical equipment, electrical appliances, pipes, cables, and more. Additionally, SCGC operates other businesses connected to its primary business through a subsidiary, Texplore Co., Ltd. such as SCGC Floating Solar Solutions, clean energy solutions, emisspro® coating solutions for industrial furnaces, and many more.

Louise Hannecart
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