ABB, Coolbrook Work To Accelerate Adoption Of RDR Technology

Jan. 31, 2022
The companies aim to reduce energy consumption by 30% and improve yield by 20% in ethylene production.

The companies aim to significantly reduce GHG emissions in steam cracking plants

ABB and Finnish technology company Coolbrook sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commercialize and accelerate the adoption of roto dynamic reactor (RDR) technology in a bid to significantly reduce GHG emissions in steam cracking plants. The agreement will unite the two companies’ expertise and create a combined offering of Coolbrook’s novel electrically driven RDR technology and ABB’s integrated, pre-engineered energy products, initially for use in petrochemical and chemical markets. 

Coolbrook’s novel turbomachine reportedly can replace a conventional furnace by directly imparting the rotor shaft’s mechanical energy to the hydrocarbon fluid. This is achieved by aerodynamic action through a rotating blade flow. When powered by electricity from renewable sources, the technology completely eliminates CO2 emissions in the steam cracking process, according to the companies. Coolbrook technology can also be operated with various feedstocks, including recycled and renewable feedstocks.

ABB will enhance the energy efficiency of Coolbrook’s offering through the integration of its electric motors and variable speed drives. The combined ABB and Coolbrook offering will facilitate and accelerate the uptake of the technology, enabling petrochemical and olefin producers to meet their net zero ambitions.

Applying a standardized and modular approach, the collaboration will support customers from FEED stage and incorporate RDR package, electric motor and drive, automation, safety, power distribution, instrumentation and analyzers, condition monitoring and full digitalization. As a result, chemical producers can benefit from increased operational yields, lower operating costs, easier maintenance and lower capital costs, according to the companies.

Colin Ward, senior vice president for ABB Energy Industries Chemicals & Refining, says, “Electrification of steam crackers in ethylene production provides a pathway to reduce emissions in these processes by 300 million metric tons annually worldwide. ABB is working with partners to bring sustainable solutions to enable our customers to reduce GHG emissions, waste and energy usage, while responsibly supporting the world’s energy transition.”

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