Linde, BASF and SABIC have joined forces to develop and demonstrate solutions for electrically heated steam cracker furnaces to reduce carbon emissions within the chemical industry.

The collaboration was announced today (24th March), with electricity taking centre stage. By using electricity from renewable sources, the company’s hope the new technology will reduce carbon emissions by as much as 90%. 

Supporting the effort, BASF and SABIC have combined know-how and intellectual property in developing chemical processes together with their longstanding experiences and knowledge in operating steam crackers.

Linde will contribute its intellectual property, expertise in developing and building steam cracking furnace technologies and driving future industry commercialisation.

Commenting on the effort, Juergen Nowicki, Executive Vice-President Linde plc and CEO of Linde Engineering, said, “With this project we are singling out a particular industrial CO2 producer. Cracking furnaces are one of the largest CO2 emission sources in the whole petrochemical value chain.”

“This is a time-tested, optimised technology that we are now putting on a completely new footing, not in the laboratory, but on a large industrial scale. The effect this project will have is significant. We are proud to be part of it.”

Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, added, “This technology leap will be a milestone on the path to a low-emission chemical industry. We have not only developed the world’s first electrical heating concepts for steam crackers, but also want to demonstrate the reliability of key components for use in this type of high-temperature reactors.” 

“To be able to drive a timely scale-up and industrial implementation of this technology, investment support and competitive renewable energy prices will be important prerequisites.” 

Yousef Al-Benyan, Vice-Chairman and CEO of SABIC said, “Our industry thrives on innovation and collaboration which enable us to come up with and deliver important contributions to urgent global challenges like resource efficiency and CO2 reduction.”

“This agreement brings together the deep technical knowledge and implementation focus that can help transition energy-intensive processes within our industry to be low carbon emitting processes. This flagship sustainability initiative forms part of SABIC’s long-term vision and climate change strategy to transform our business on the path towards carbon neutrality”.