Dow and Shell team up to develop electric cracking technology
Technology could lead to lower carbon emissions, provide a path to decarbonization as the energy grid becomes increasingly renewables-led
MIDLAND, Michigan – Dow, Inc. (NYSE: DOW) and Shell today announced a joint development agreement to accelerate technology to electrify ethylene steam crackers, which supply chemicals used to make products that people use every day. Today’s steam crackers rely on fossil fuel combustion to heat their furnaces, making them CO2 intensive. As the energy grid becomes increasingly renewables led, using renewable electricity to heat steam cracker furnaces could become one of the routes to decarbonize the chemicals industry. The challenge is to develop a technologically and economically feasible solution.
The collaboration between the two companies is already underway and brings together their complementary expertise and common commitment to a low carbon future. Innovation project teams located in Amsterdam, Terneuzen, the Netherlands, and Texas, U.S., are focused on designing and scaling ‘e-cracker’ technologies. They will work in the coming years to first prove out process technology innovations in laboratory and pilot operations and to then scale to commercial crackers.
“Continuously improving the sustainability of our operations is an inherent part of how we operate at Dow,” said Keith Cleason, vice president Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives business. “Significant technological breakthroughs are needed to reduce our industry’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, which will require companies to step out of their comfort zones and work together to achieve bold and ambitious new goals. Our partnership with Shell is an important step in making this vision a reality.”
Thomas Casparie, executive vice president of Shell’s global chemicals business, said, “Steam cracking makes base chemicals, which are transformed into a range of finished products that help society live, work and respond to climate change. This new work with Dow has the potential to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions from the manufacture of chemicals and to Shell’s ambition of becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.”
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $43 billion in 2019. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.
About Shell Chemicals
Shell’s global chemicals business supplies customers with a range of base, intermediate and performance chemicals used to make products that people use every day. These finished products contribute to society’s ability to live, work, care and respond to climate change. As global demand for chemicals increases, we plan to grow our business, by understanding and providing for our customers’ needs. Our business is versatile and resilient. We have strong market positions, integrated world-scale assets, leading technologies and a commitment to a sustainable future. References to the expressions “Shell”, “Shell’s chemicals business” or “Shell’s chemical plants” refer to multiple companies that are part of the Shell Group that are engaged in chemical or related businesses. For more information, please visit www.shell.com/chemicals.
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