Six major petrochemical companies have established a consortium to investigate how gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity, instead of fossil fuels.
The Cracker of the Future consortium includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, Sabic and Total. The group aims to continue to produce base chemicals, while also reducing carbon emissions.
Steam crackers produce base chemicals, including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX, which are then transformed into plastics.
“The key challenges in developing electricity-based cracker technology are ensuring that the chosen emissions reduction solution is technologically and economically feasible compared to the current process; that it fits into a future low-carbon value chain; and that it can be implemented in time to meet policy targets,” the consortium statement noted.
Once the challenges are met, developing and implementing electricity-based cracker technology will help the sector maintain sustainable operations while reducing the carbon footprint of its products, the statement further commented.
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