Sector News

European chemical makers plan ‘cracker of the future’

September 5, 2019
Chemical Value Chain

Six companies with petrochemical steam crackers in Europe have formed the Cracker of the Future Consortium to develop cracker technology with a carbon footprint that is a small fraction of the current level. The companies seek to make the carbon savings by replacing natural gas–based boilers with ones that use renewable electricity.

The six companies are BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell Industries, Sabic, and Total. They plan to have a pilot low-carbon-footprint cracker in operation by 2030 and widespread commercial-scale production by 2050.

The companies have signed an agreement to invest in R&D and share their knowledge, says Lia Voermans, director of strategy and innovation for Brightlands, a technology consulting organization in the Netherlands that is helping to coordinate the consortium. “It is a very bold plan. And the way in which they are doing it together is unique,” Voermans says.

The consortium is already in discussions with the European Commission about securing funding for the project.

BASF disclosed earlier this year that it has begun developing an electric element for heating its naphtha cracker boilers in association with the industrial gas firm Linde. The German chemical maker envisions cutting CO2 emissions per cracker by 90%—or by 750,000 metric tons annually across the company.

The Cracker of the Future Consortium is one of several initiatives being promoted by the Trilateral Strategy for the Chemical Industry, which was created by government groups in German, the Netherlands, and Belgium, along with chemical industry associations in the three countries. Parties to the Trilateral Strategy are also working on digitalization, hydrogen production and supply, electrochemical conversions, and using biomass as a feedstock.

By Alex Scott

Source: Chemical & Engineering News

Related News

August 6, 2020

The chemistry behind the Beirut explosion

Chemical Value Chain

On Aug. 4, a devastating explosion struck the area around a port in Beirut. Lebanese officials are blaming the blast, which has killed over 100 people and left 300,000 homeless, […]

August 6, 2020

Merck KGaA’s net profit drops sharply on impairments, other expenses; acquisitions boost revenue

Chemical Value Chain

Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) says its net profits in the second quarter of 2020 dropped 38.5% year on year (YOY), to €290 million ($343 million), despite revenue growing 3.7% YOY, […]

August 4, 2020

LyondellBasell earnings plummet on weak demand, pricing

Chemical Value Chain

LyondellBasell reports second-quarter net income of $314 million, down 69% year over year (YOY) from $1.003 billion as the pandemic weighed on volume and pricing. Revenue totaled $5.546 billion, down […]