BASF, SABIC and Linde say they have started construction of the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. By using electricity from renewable sources instead of natural gas, the new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions of one of the most energy-intensive production processes in the chemical industry by at least 90% compared to technologies commonly used today, according to the companies.
The demonstration plant will be fully integrated into one of the existing steam crackers at BASF’s Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It will test two different heating concepts, processing around four tons of hydrocarbon per hour and consuming six megawatts of renewable energy. The start-up of the demonstration plant is targeted for 2023.
BASF and SABIC are investing together in the project and the demonstration plant will be operated by BASF. Linde is the engineering, procurement and construction partner for the project and in the future reportedly will commercialize the developed technologies.
To support the development of the novel furnace technology, the project has been granted €14.8 million by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action under its “Decarbonization in Industry” funding program, according to the companies. The program is supporting energy-intensive industries in Germany in their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
“BASF’s mission is to achieve climate neutrality, and electrification of the hugely energy- intense steam cracker is a significant milestone in our transformation journey towards net zero,” says Dr. Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF SE, in a press release from the company.
Read the press release at: www.basf.com