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Nacero transitioning unbuilt facility from low-carbon gasoline to SAF and LCAF; TOPSOE MTJet

Nacero will transition its current pre-construction, multi-billion USD facility in Penwell, Texas—designed to produce low carbon gasoline—to the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and lower carbon aviation fuel (LCAF). When fully completed, Nacero’s facility in Texas will be the largest commercial scale facility in the US for producing SAF and LCAF utilizing TOPSOE’s MTJet technology (methanol-to-jet).

Nacero will produce SAF and LCAF from renewable natural gas (RNG) sourced from dairy farms and landfills, and from mitigated flared gas sourced in the Permian Basin. The SAF and LCAF products will contain no sulfur, while produced utilizing 100%, low-cost renewable power, and utilizing integrated carbon capture within the process. As a result, Nacero and TOPSOE offer America’s aviation industry a lower carbon solution for everyday jet fuel at an affordable price and with up to a 100% reduction in its lifecycle carbon footprint.

Topsoe fully supports Nacero’s decision to shift its focus to SAF and LCAF production given the challenge of meeting 2030 and 2050 consumption goals of renewable jet fuel. We have been working very closely with Nacero’s experienced project team to implement Topsoe NG to gasoline process (TIGAS) and we are very excited about the opportunity to continue this successful collaboration while building a scalable solution to meet the world’s growing demand for SAF and LCAF.

—Henrik Rasmussen, Topsoe’s Managing Director, The Americas

Nacero will leverage already complete project development work, site permitting, and extensive engineering and construction planning for the earlier proposed TIGAS gasoline project. (Earlier post.) TIGAS efficiently produces high-value gasoline from natural gas, shale gas, or associated gas. This work will be updated by TOPSOE and Nacero with minimal design modifications required to enable utilization of the very similar MTJet process. MTJet uses uses methanol as an intermediate in jet fuel production.

The already completed engineering and construction planning work, remains unchanged and is completely compatible as designed with TOPSOE’s MTJet process. This includes TOPSOE’s proprietary processes, catalysts, and equipment designs for their SynCOR Methanol technology as well as integrated carbon capture technology provided by Giammarco Vetrocoke. Leveraging this previous work enables and achieves significant schedule advantages for the joint development effort to achieve commercialization of SAF production.

TOPSOE has more than 50 years of commercial experience and internal research and development with methanol synthesis and methane-rich gas-to-gasoline processes which support a methanol-to-jet solution. TOPSOE, with Nacero participation, is currently working with ASTM to qualify the methanol-to-jet pathway. Topsoe will provide the required samples (produced from their demonstration unit) to validate fuel quality, safety, and compatibility with existing jet engines.

TOPSOE will provide Nacero with engineering and design services to update their Process Design Package (PDP) for MTJet technology and will supply catalyst and proprietary hardware for Nacero’s Texas facility.

Nacero and TOPSOE together will focus on long-term, large-scale impacts to achieve the established US carbon reduction goals for 2030 and 2050, including expanding the supply of TOPSOE technology and catalysts for future Nacero SAF production facilities in the US.

TOPSOE’s MTJet technology, incorporated with Topsoe’s SynCOR Methanol technology, achieves economies of scale with each future production phase. By using six parallel SynCOR Methanol and MTJet process units, Nacero’s Texas facility, when fully developed, will produce more than 30,000 metric tons per day (MTPD) of methanol, which will be processed to SAF and LCAF for the aviation industry.



The switch to SAF makes a lot of sense. While most of the fuel will be made from renewable natural gas (RNG) sourced from dairy farms and landfills, and from mitigated flared gas sourced in the Permian Basin.
What about using CO2 from Direct Air Capture to make eMethanol?
Also being built in the Permian Basin will be the Oxy Direct Air Capture Plant, which is selling carbon credits to Airbus from the plant to offset its emissions.

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