18. Jul 2022
Newlight Technologies (Huntington Beach, CA, USA) and CNX Resources Corporation (Canonsburg, PA, USA) recently 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 conventional 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 conventional 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 (Canonsburg, PA, USA), a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC (New York, NY,USA) in Hannibal, Ohio (USA). 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.
"For years, government and economic development officials have worked to leverage the vast energy resources found in the Appalachian basin as a catalyst for economic growth and new manufacturing", said CNX President of New Technologies Ravi Srivastava. "CNX is excited to work with Newlight to immediately accelerate those efforts. Our Tangible, Impactful, Local ESG approach clearly demonstrates that assets and technologies unique to CNX and Appalachia can be leveraged to positively impact environmental and socio-economic challenges – from local to global – while ensuring that our region and the middle class are strengthened and supported in the process. We believe that is the definition of sustainability".
Srivastava continued, "Like our recently announced partnership with Pittsburgh International Airport, our work alongside Newlight will showcase CNX's unique combination of assets, innovative technologies, and proven operational expertise that are poised to help lead the sustainable energy revolution".
Launching its first commercial-scale Aircarbon production facility in 2020, today Newlight's customers and partners include consumer brands such as Shake Shack (New York, NY, USA), Nike (Beaverton, OR, USA), Target (Minneapolis, MN, USA), H&M (Stockholm, Sweden), Ben and Jerry's (South Burlington, VT, USA), Sumitomo (Tokyo, Japan), U.S. Foods (Rosemont, IL, USA), and Sysco (Houston, TX, USA). AT