In the groundbreaking turn of events, German Petrochemical Companies Linde and BASF SE along with Saudi Arabian multinational chemical manufacturing Company SABIC entered into an agreement to build world’s first electrically heated steam cracker unit.
The process to convert hydrocarbons into olefins and aromatics typically take place at high temperatures of 850 C and conventionally, heating is done through use of fossil fuels. However, the new technology is aimed to replace fossils fuels by electricity derived from renewable sources. This in turn will assist the major petrochemical producers to reduce their carbon footprint. Thus, electrically heated steam crackers are estimated to decrease CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.
The new technology is anticipated to emerge as one of the key milestones for the petrochemical industry as it will not only derive the best electrical heating concepts for steam crackers but will also showcase the reliability of the major components for utilization in high temperature steam cracking units. Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, stressed towards the need of timely scale up and broad industrial implementation of this new technology. He also said that investment support and competitive renewable energy prices are going to be critical prerequisites.
With the collaboration, SABIC and BASF SE are expected to bring their world renowned extensive prowess for the development of the required chemical processes while Linde is anticipated to put together its expertise for technological and manual operations of steam crackers for obtaining maximum yield.