Capturing Methane To Produce Plastic Carbon, or Aircarbon
Newlight and CNX Announce Strategic Agreement to Capture Methane Emissions for Production of Aircarbon
Newlight Technologies, Inc. (Newlight) and CNX Resources Corporation have announced that the companies have entered into a 15-year agreement to capture and utilize methane emissions for the production of Aircarbon®, a naturally-occurring molecule also known as PHB that replaces plastic but is carbon-negative and biologically degrades in natural environments.
Under the agreement, CNX and Newlight will work together to capture waste methane from third party industrial activity that would typically be vented to atmosphere. CNX will gather, process, and deliver the methane through new and existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure, and Newlight will acquire contractual rights to a portion of the captured methane to support the production of Aircarbon, similar to how solar, wind, and renewable natural gas are delivered contractually through new and existing grid infrastructure. Combined, by using greenhouse gas as a resource to make a naturally-occurring material that replaces plastic, the agreement will enable the large-scale reduction of both carbon emissions and plastic pollution.
“CNX is a world leader in methane capture and processing, and by partnering with their exceptional team, we will have the opportunity to meaningfully reduce the amount of carbon going into the air and plastic going into the ocean,” said Newlight CEO Mark Herrema. “Our goal is to abate methane emissions at world scale through the application of biological carbon capture, and this agreement takes us another step closer to that goal. We’re thrilled to have a strategic growth partner in CNX that shares our commitment to sustainable solutions and environmentally responsibly outcomes.”
The strategic partnership, with CNX capturing methane gas to support Newlight’s manufacturing needs, is expected to result in several manufacturing facilities in the Appalachian region and advance critical decarbonization goals while boosting area economic activity, capital investment, and job growth. The initial 15-year contract aligns with CNX’s commercial and capital allocation strategies in the decarbonization space and further solidifies Newlight’s position as a leader in carbon capture technology.
Newlight has recently announced plans to build a carbon capture-based manufacturing facility in partnership with Long Ridge Energy Terminal, a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC in Hannibal, Ohio, and Newlight’s contractual rights to methane emissions derived from Newlight’s agreement with CNX will be used to create a portion of the Aircarbon being produced at the new Ohio facility. The greenhouse gas feedstock that will support production at the Ohio facility is also expected to include, over time, methane from anaerobic digestion of food and agricultural waste, as well as carbon dioxide from energy facilities and direct air capture.
Launching its first commercial-scale Aircarbon production facility in 2020, today Newlight’s customers and partners include consumer brands such as Shake Shack, Nike, Target, H&M, Ben and Jerry’s, Sumitomo, U.S. Foods, and Sysco.