First Electrically Heated Steam Cracking Furnace Put Into Operation

First Electrically Heated Steam Cracking Furnace Put Into Operation

Author: ChemistryViews

The world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracking furnaces was inaugurated today by BASF, SABIC, and Linde at the BASF site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The project’s overarching goal is to electrify the energy-intensive steam cracker process, a cornerstone of the chemical industry, and make substantial contributions to industry decarbonization. The eFurnace replaces the steam cracker’s traditional gas-fired high-temperature furnaces with electrically heated furnaces. By using of electricity from renewable sources, CO2 emissions can be reduced by at least 90 % compared to today’s technologies.

The demonstration plant will test two heating concepts: direct heating with electric power and indirect heating with radiation heat. Direct heating applies an electric current directly to the cracking coils, while indirect heating uses radiative heat of heating elements placed around the coils, akin to how a toaster works.

The plant is fully integrated into an existing steam cracker at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site. The purpose of the upcoming operation is to gather data and experience on material behavior and processes under commercial operating conditions, for the final development of this innovative technology to industrial market maturity.

At the kick-off event, the CEOs of the three companies (pictured) emphasized the importance of the collaboration in developing breakthrough technologies to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions and a climate-neutral industry. SABIC CEO Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh (pictured right), for example, said that together they had created a model of cooperation. Three companies from different cultures in slightly different industries. “I am proud of the Sabic BASF and Linde team.”


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