Air Clean Up
Carbon-free ethylene production for the petrochemical industry
Mar 08 2023
Coolbrook and Linde Engineering have joined forces to achieve carbon-free ethylene production in the petrochemical industry. The companies have signed a strategic partnership to collaborate on the development and deployment of Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic Reactor (RDR) technology to replace burning fossil fuels with clean electricity in ethylene plants worldwide.
Steam cracking in ethylene plants is one of the most energy-intensive and CO2-emitting industrial processes globally. The collaboration with Coolbrook and applying their patented RDR technology aims to reduce global CO2 emissions by approximately 200 million tons annually. In addition, the RDR technology improves energy efficiency and targets to increase ethylene yield compared to traditional cracker technologies.
Coolbrook’s aim is to establish the RDR technology as an industry standard by 2030. The company has previously announced cooperation with ABB for the automation, digitalization, electric motors, and variable speed drives for Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic Technology.
John van der Velden, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Technology, Linde Engineering, said: “There is real urgency and need for solutions to decarbonize industrial production. Combining Coolbrook’s technology with Linde Engineering’s sustainable hydrocarbon solutions and related EPC experience will serve to meet the growing needs of our customers and essentially drive decarbonization in ethylene production.”
Joonas Rauramo, CEO, Coolbrook said: “We are very pleased to start our partnership with Linde Engineering to develop optimal solutions for our customers. Together, we will be able to integrate Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic Reactor technology into brownfield and greenfield installations and thereby support our customers in meeting their ambitious climate targets.”
Coolbrook Executive Chairman, Ilpo Kuokkanen continued: “This collaboration is another major step in our strategic aim to build a committed and comprehensive ecosystem around Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic technology to enable fast commercial implementation at an industrial scale.”
Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic Reactor is based on the company’s proprietary RotoDynamic technology, which is designed to generate process heating for high-temperature processes with CO2-free electricity, marking a major milestone towards carbon-free manufacturing in heavy industries. Once implemented at scale, the technology has the potential to cut over 2 billion tons of annual CO2 emissions in heavy industry.
Coolbrook’s technology is currently undergoing a large-scale pilot phase in the Netherlands, demonstrating the performance of RotoDynamic Reactor for the petrochemical sector as well as the RotoDynamic Heater (RDH) for high-temperature process heating across various other industry sectors. The next milestone is to deploy the technology in first commercial demonstration projects at customer sites aimed to be operational in 2024, and full commercial deployment is expected to start around 2025.
With 70 years of experience in steam cracking and other petrochemical technologies, Linde Engineering has licensed and/or built more than 70 steam crackers worldwide. Since then, Linde has continually improved, scaled, and optimized the steam cracking technology to meet the most stringent safety, economic and environmental/climate protection requirements. In recent years Linde has developed a roadmap and toolbox of decarbonization measures which is continuously improved and extended in order to support the required transformation of the petrochemical industry towards zero GHG emissions.
Linde Engineering is one of the few technology contractors worldwide that can deliver technology, engineering, procurement, and construction (T-EPC) services for the entire ethylene plant out of one hand, for both grassroot and revamp projects, along with downstream units, utilities, and offsite units.
The collaboration between Coolbrook and Linde Engineering marks a significant step towards achieving carbon-free ethylene production, reducing global CO2 emissions, improving energy efficiency, and increasing ethylene yield compared to traditional cracker technologies.
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