Milan, 16 February 2023 – Across the world, over 200M tonnes/year of conventional LPG is used for energy, providing portable, clean burning fuels to billions of people living and working off the mains gas grid and is also the most widely used alternative fuel for transportation globally.

In order to offer to the market low-carbon solutions, NextChem and its subsidiary MyRechemical (Maire Tecnimont Group) have signed an agreement with Dimeta B.V. to explore new opportunities to develop plants for the production of renewable and recycled carbon dimethyl ether (DME) from waste. Such a product, given its LPG-like properties, can be blended with conventional LPG thus helping to reduce its carbon footprint with no change to LPG appliances or infrastructure.

Dimeta is a Dutch joint venture between SHV Energy and UGI International, which has been established to advance the production and use of renewable and recycled carbon DME to accelerate the LPG industry’s transition to Net Zero. The organization has an ambitious goal to produce 300,000 tonnes of DME by the end of 2027, establishing plants in the UK, Europe and USA.

This low-carbon sustainable liquid gas can be obtained with innovative NextChem and MyRechemical technologies that convert municipal solid waste to methanol and then to DME. Under this agreement, the area of cooperation involves generating business cases where Dimeta will offtake DME in ongoing waste to methanol projects and new initiatives specifically targeting the production of renewable & recycled carbon DME.

In addition to this, NextChem and MyRechemical will explore other opportunities with Dimeta to cooperate in R&D activities such as the production of DME from biogas and biomethane.

Giacomo Rispoli, Managing Director of MyRechemical: “We are excited to explore with Dimeta further applications of our Waste to Chemicals technologies also to the strategic LPG sector. Renewable and recycled carbon DME from waste enables the transition to sustainable, low-carbon, low-emission energy by itself or blended with LPG, meeting the needs of the circular economy to decarbonize many industries and sectors, including transportation.”

Frankie Ugboma, Chief Executive Officer of Dimeta: “The signing of the agreement between ourselves, NextChem and MyRechemical is an important milestone for Dimeta, building upon the announcement of our first renewable and recycled carbon DME plant in the UK. Both NextChem and MyRechemical are established experts in their field, and I look forward to seeing how we can deliver solutions for the energy transition together.”

Introduction to Renewable & Recycled Carbon DME
Dimethyl ether – known as DME, is already used extensively across the globe, mainly in industrial and consumer application settings. It is a colourless gas that is chemically similar to propane and like propane, it is easy to handle and store in liquid form. Renewable & Recycled Carbon DME can be produced from biogenic & non-biogenic feedstocks, such as biogas, cellulosic material and municipal waste.

Applications for Renewable & Recycled Carbon DME include:

  • It can blended up to 20% with renewable propane in existing off-grid heating, cooking and industrial applications with no change to the appliance or fuel delivery infrastructure.
  • It can be used as a 100% renewable fuel in industrial applications, especially for high temperature heating that is hard to electrify.
  • It can be used as a replacement for diesel in engines, requiring only a retrofit to the vehicle. This solution provides a valuable renewable fuel option for the hard to-decarbonize heavy-duty transport sector. It can also be blended up to 20% into propane for use in existing propane fueled vehicles.