BASF and MAN Energy Solutions have formed a strategic alliance to build an industrial-scale heat pump at the BASF site in Germany. This project aims to make a significant contribution to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by implementing low-CO2 technologies in chemical production and reducing the site’s natural gas consumption. The project partners are conducting a feasibility study as a first step, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The planned large-scale heat pump will enable the production of steam using renewable energy, utilising waste heat from BASF’s cooling water system as a source of thermal energy. The residual heat in the water will be compressed and converted into steam, which will be fed into the site’s steam network. By incorporating the planned heat pump into the site’s production infrastructure, up to 150 metric tonnes of steam per hour, equivalent to a thermal output of 120 megawatts, can be produced. The project has the potential to cut CO2 emissions at the site by up to 390,000 metric tonnes per year. At the same time, it would make the cooling water system more efficient and less reliant on weather and climate.

In the chemical industry, steam is the most important source of energy. BASF requires approximately 20 million metric tonnes of steam per year in Germany. Much of this is used as process steam in the plants at the site, for example, to dry products, heat reactors, or distil. Approximately half of the steam required at the Ludwigshafen site is already produced using a low-CO2 process that recovers heat from production facilities. The remaining 50% of steam demand is met by gas and steam power plants, which emit CO2 during operation.

Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE: “In the medium term, we want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030. The use of technologies such as large heat pumps, which already exist and can be scaled up to industrial size, brings us a lot closer to this goal. In our cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions, we combine the expertise of a chemical Verbund site with the know-how required for the technological implementation of a project like this. This technology also has the potential to pave the way for projects at other BASF sites.”

Dr. Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions SE, commented: “We are really looking forward to the close collaboration with BASF. Space heating and process heat account for around one-third of German greenhouse gas emissions. Together with BASF, we want to address this significant lever with an innovative solution. We are convinced that our heat pump solution can make a decisive contribution to a climate-friendly supply of steam at the Ludwigshafen site. BASF is a global pioneer in the energy transformation in the chemical industry, a role model for the deployment of innovative technologies to protect the planet, and a great project partner. Industry and climate protection both rely on the innovations that arise from such strong partnerships.”

Dr. Uwe Liebelt, President European Verbund Sites, BASF SE: “The transformation that lies ahead of us requires, above all, openness to new technologies. In Ludwigshafen, we are testing and developing several technologies and alternative processes to replace fossil fuels – this includes the electrical production of steam. Protecting the climate means not only avoiding greenhouse gas emissions but also using energy sustainably – industrial heat pumps enable both. In the future, they will be an essential part of the sustainable energy infrastructure at the Ludwigshafen site.”

The two partners hope to gain experience in the integration and operation of industrial-scale heat pumps through this project, paving the way for standardisation and deployment of the technology at other sites. The feasibility study’s findings on the economic viability, efficiency, and competitiveness of the technology will serve as the foundation for the subsequent decision-making process for the heat pump’s construction.

BASF has set a goal of reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. In addition to using renewable energies and increasing production energy efficiency, new technologies such as electrification of steam production will help meet this target. Scaling up such climate-friendly processes to an industrial scale will have a significant impact on the transition to low-CO2 chemical production.

MAN Energy Solutions’ future strategy includes technical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, energy production, and shipping. In addition to technologies that reduce or compensate for harmful emissions, the company focuses on the reduction or compensation of unavoidable residual emissions from industry.


Source: Energy Ghana



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