BASF, SABIC and Linde join forces to realize the world’s first electrically heated steam cracker furnace
BASF, SABIC and Linde have signed a joint agreement to develop and demonstrate solutions for electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. The partners have already jointly worked on concepts to use renewable electricity instead of the fossil fuel gas typically used for the heating process. With this innovative approach focusing on one of the petrochemical industries’ core processes, the parties strive to offer a promising solution to contribute significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions within the chemical industry.
Steam crackers play a central role in the production of basic chemicals and require a significant amount of energy to break down hydrocarbons into olefins and aromatics. Typically, the reaction is conducted at temperatures of about 850 degrees Celsius in their furnaces. Today these temperatures are reached by burning fossil fuels. The project aims to reduce the CO2 emissions by powering the process with electricity. By using electricity from renewable sources, the fundamentally new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.
BASF and SABIC have combined their extensive know-how and intellectual property in developing chemical processes together with their longstanding experiences and knowledge in operating steam crackers, while Linde contributed with its intellectual property, expertise in developing and building steam cracking furnace technologies and driving future industry commercialization.
This technology leap will be a milestone on the path to a low-emission chemical industry. We have not only developed the world’s first electrical heating concepts for steam crackers, but also want to demonstrate the reliability of key components for use in this type of high-temperature reactors. To be able to drive a timely scale-up and industrial implementation of this technology, investment support and competitive renewable energy prices will be important prerequisites.—Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE
The project is part of BASF’s Carbon Management R&D program with which BASF aims to reduce further its CO2 emissions beyond 2030 significantly.
With this project we are singling out a particular industrial CO2 producer. Cracking furnaces are one of the largest CO2 emission sources in the whole petrochemical value chain. This is a time-tested, optimized technology that we are now putting on a completely new footing, not in the laboratory, but on a large industrial scale. The effect this project will have is significant.—
Steam cracker at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site
The partners applied for financial grants at the EU Innovation Fund and the funding program Decarbonization in Industry (new program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment). The parties are evaluating construction of a multi-megawatt demonstration plant at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site, targeted for start-up as early as 2023, subject to a positive funding decision.
The comments to this entry are closed.