Borealis Links with Qpinch on Heat Recovery

  • Borealis Links with Qpinch on Heat Recovery (c) Borealis Borealis Links with Qpinch on Heat Recovery (c) Borealis

Borealis is collaborating with Belgian start-up Qpinch to scale up a novel technology that recovers industrial waste heat and cuts CO2 emissions.

The Qpinch heat transformer recovers residual heat from 75oC and upward. The technology, which has been patented in cooperation with Ghent University, mimics natural compounds adenosine triphosphate/adenosine diphosphate (ATP/ADP) that store and release energy in living cells. The process works by raising the temperature of waste heat using a closed-loop chemical process, which Borealis said reduces operational costs and electricity use.

Borealis will install a Qpinch heat recovery unit at its LDPE plant in Zwijndrecht, Antwerp, Belgium, with the facility scheduled to start operating in the second half of 2019. The unit will be the first-ever application of the new technology at commercial scale in a polyolefin plant and, said Borealis, could save around 2,200 t/y of CO2.

“We believe this technology has significant potential for our industry and will ultimately benefit our customers by offering them the same products at a lower carbon footprint,” said Maurits Van Tol, senior vice president innovation and technology at Borealis.

Wouter Ducheyne, Qpinch’s co-founder and chief technology officer, added: “Our heat transforming technology could in turn transform the entire industry by reducing CO2 emissions at levels previously unseen. This successful open innovation model between a start-up and an established company will move us to the next organizational stage, enabling to further develop the business worldwide.”

Qpinch said the technology is applicable for all major industries that use industrial heat, with a main focus on petrochemicals, food, and paper and pulp.

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