NEWS COMMENTARY

Monolith gets USD 1 billion DOE loan to expand its methane pyrolysis operations — but will carbon black hold it back?

Published:
January 12, 2022
Last Updated:
January 13, 2022
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Securing U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) backing is a big step forward for Monolith — it commissioned its first 14,000-tonnes-per-year (tpy) carbon black plant in 2020 that also produces 4,500 tpy of hydrogen.The loan will fund plant expansion to a carbon black capacity of 180,000 tpy, and the 60,000 tpy of hydrogen produced will be upgraded to ammonia. It's worth noting that Monolith primarily pursues carbon black instead of hydrogen — this shields the firm from low gray hydrogen prices in the U.S. due to availability of cheap natural gas and lack of penalties on fossil hydrogen. A methane pyrolysis company primarily targeting hydrogen will find it challenging to compete unless a long-term off-take agreement for carbon black is obtained.

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