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Chementator Briefs

| By Gerald Ondrey

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E-Cracking

Last April, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com), SABIC (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; www.sabic.com) and Linde Engineering (Pullach, Germany; www.linde-engineering.com) inaugurated the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam-cracking furnaces. Following three years of development, engineering, and construction work, the regular operation of the demonstration plant is now ready to start at BASF’s Verbund site in Ludwigshafen.

The demonstration plant, which produces olefins, such as ethylene, propylene, and possibly also higher olefins from saturated hydrocarbon feedstock, is fully integrated into the existing steam crackers in Ludwigshafen. In two separate demonstration furnaces, two different heating concepts are being tested. In one furnace, direct heating applies an electric current directly to the cracking coils. In the second furnace, indirect heating uses radiative heat of heating elements placed around the coils. The two electrically heated furnaces together process around 4 ton/h of hydrocarbon feedstock and consume 6 MW of renewable energy.

To support the development of the furnace technology, the project was granted €14.8 million by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action under its Decarbonization in Industry funding program.

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