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Dow and Shell E-Cracker Project Secures Funds, Partners

02.07.2021 - Dow and Shell have secured funding from the Dutch government and are also linking up with two research organizations to accelerate progress in the joint cracker electrification development program that they announced about a year ago. The technology has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from one of the chemical industry’s most central processes.

Funds of €3.5 million have been granted under the Mission-driven Research, Development and Innovation (MOOI) subsidy scheme. The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) are also joining Dow and Shell as they aim to accelerate key milestones for the near-term progress and longer-term breakthroughs needed.

The two major petrochemical producers said the additional partners bring further expertise to the project. TNO has deep knowledge in high-temperature heat transfer applications and plays a leading role in identifying innovative electrical technologies that could be deployed in industry. ISPT is focused on integrating the preferred concepts, connecting breakthrough technologies with those of utilities and infrastructure in the chemicals industry.

“Our multi-disciplined team has forged a strong working foundation and made significant progress in the first year of our multi-generational plan,” said Keith Cleason, vice-president Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives business. “We are pleased to add ISPT and TNO to the joint program as they bring complementary expertise and share the same drive to bring viable, low-carbon technologies online as soon as they are feasible.”

In the first year, joint teams in the Netherlands and the US have narrowed down concepts, validated emissions benefits, advanced patents, demonstrated the durability of electric heating elements and partnered with equipment suppliers. Shell and Dow are now evaluating the construction of a multi-megawatt pilot plant, with potential start-up in 2025, subject to investment support.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist

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