Braskem and Coolbrook in Cracker Electrification Pact

14.02.2023 - Following discussions that started last November, Brazilian polyolefins producer Braskem and Finnish technology and engineering company Coolbrook have now signed an agreement to collaborate on cracker electrification.

The two partners will jointly implement a pilot project so that Braskem can assess Coolbrook’s RotoDynamic Reactor (RDR) technology, which could enable olefins to be produced with zero CO2 emissions. The project will electrify Braskem’s crackers by replacing the use of thermal energy sourced from fossil fuel with electricity generated from renewable sources.

The cooperation also supports Coolbrook’s ambition to make its RDR technology available for commercial use at scale as soon as 2024.

As well as eliminating emissions from burning fuels, the technology is said to increase feedstock flexibility and improve ethylene yield by up to 20% compared with traditional cracking technologies. Braskem said Coolbrook’s process could potentially cut CO2 emissions at its crackers by about 2.5 million t/y, reducing its carbon footprint in the production of ethylene, propylene and other chemicals.

“Coolbrook's revolutionary RDR technology will help Braskem achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, significantly improving the energy efficiency of our crackers," said Gus Hutras, Braskem’s global process technology director.

The Helsinki-based company has also established a pilot project at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, the Netherlands, which went into operation last December, and tests are being conducted over the next couple of years.

According to Coolbrook, its RDR technology is the only one in the world able to reach temperatures of up to 1700°C without burning fossil fuels, enabling it to replace fossil-fired furnaces and kilns with electric heating in industrial processes. The technology can be retrofitted to existing plants.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist