Industry, Logistics & Shipping

New group to develop technology for para-xylene production from CO2

The University of Toyama, Chiyoda Corporation, Nippon Steel Engineering, Nippon Steel Corporation, HighChem Company, and Mitsubishi Corporation, have jointly been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as contractors for development of technology for industrial para-xylene production from CO2.
According to a statement issued by Mitsubishi, the companies, hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Group", has jointly applied for and been selected by NEDO for "Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Development of Technologies for CO2 Reduction and Utilization / Development of Technologies for CO2 Utilization for Chemicals."
“In order to cope with global climate change, it is necessary to address the issue of CO2 emissions from factories, power plants, and various emission sources while pursuing all possible technological options including carbon recycling technologies. "Roadmap for Carbon Recycling Technologies" formulated by METI(2) in June 2019 sets forth guidelines for utilisation of carbon recycling technologies for separating and collecting CO2 as resources and reusing it in the form of diverse carbon compounds for chemical materials or fuels,” it said.
Against this backdrop, NEDO has launched a development project for the world's most advanced technology for industrial para-xylene(3) production from CO2 to substitute existing fossil fuel-derived chemicals, and the Group has been selected as contractors for this commissioned project. 
Para-xylene is a particularly important basic compound in the production of PTA(4) which is a feedstock material for polyesters such as polyester fibers and plastic bottles. Due to its composition, it can be produced with a relatively small amount of hydrogen while fixing a large amount of CO2, compared to other compounds from carbon recycling. This is a theme with great potential from both economic and environmental perspectives.
The global demand for para-xylene is approximately 49 million tonnes per year. Assuming that the feedstock for para-xylene of the current demand level is entirely converted from fossil fuels to CO2, theoretically 160 million tonnes of CO2 could be fixed in the para-xylene per year.
In this project, the Group will improve the innovative catalyst for the production of para-xylene from CO2, develop a way to mass-produce the catalyst, and develop the process while studying its feasibility including its overall economic efficiency and CO2 reduction effect in order to pave the way to the demonstration stage.
Description of the Project
Project Name: Technology Development for Para-xylene Production from CO2
1. Improvement of performance of the catalyst and extension of its lifetime.
2. Development of a mass production method for the catalyst
3. Development of the process and design
4. Feasibility study including economic evaluation, amount of CO2 reduction, and market research
- University of Toyama (for Scope-1)
- Chiyoda Corporation (for Scope-3)
- Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. (for Scope-3) Nippon Steel Corporation (for Scope-1 and Scope-3) 
- HighChem Company Limited (for Scope-1 and Scope-2) 
- Mitsubishi Corporation (for Scope-4)
Duration: Fiscal year 2020 to 2023 
Contract Price: 1.99 Billion JPY –TradeArabia News Service