NGK, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Team on Membrane Tech for Greener Fuel Production

May 24, 2024
The chemical companies are co-developing membrane dehydration systems to boost energy efficiency and cut costs for bioethanol and e-methanol manufacturing.

NGK Insulators and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said May 22 they will jointly develop two membrane dehydration systems to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of bioethanol and e-methanol production.

The companies will begin developing separate membrane dehydration systems for each  technology.

The system for bioethanol will replace the conventional dehydration process, which consumes the most energy in the manufacturing process, NGK said. This replacement is expected to significantly reduce the energy required to produce bioethanol, according to the company.

The new e-methanol system will use hydrogen and CO2 as raw materials, with similar efficiency and energy-reduction improvements expected using the membrane separation technology.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will provide expertise in chemical plant operation, in addition to its technologies for handling methanol. NGK has extensive experience in sub-nano ceramic membrane technology and film-deposition technology developed for chemical processes and water purification.

The companies are developing the technology to meet demand for bioethanol as an automotive fuel in the United States and Brazil and as a sustainable aviation fuel. e-methanol is gaining attention as a next-generation clean fuel, primarily for marine fuel, and is expected to grow as a market globally, NGK said.



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