Shell and Dow Start Demo E-Cracker Unit

20.06.2022 - Shell and Dow have started up an experimental unit to electrically heat steam cracker furnaces in the Netherlands.

E-cracking furnaces operated using renewable electricity are regarded as having potential to reduce 90% of Scope 1 emissions at economically competitive costs compared with conventional crackers.

Over the coming year, the unit located on the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam will be used to test a theoretical electrification model developed for retrofitting existing gas-fired steam cracker furnaces. The data generated will be used to validate the model and allow the electrification program to advance to the next phase—namely designing and building a multi-megawatt pilot plant, which could potentially start up in 2025, subject to investment support.

Last year, the Shell/Dow program was awarded €3.5 million in funding from the Dutch government, with The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) joining the chemical companies to accelerate progress.

“We have taken a great step forward in helping to decarbonize one of the central processes of our industry, while also supporting Shell’s goal to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. I look forward to the results of the experimental unit and to continue this vital collaboration with Dow,” said Thomas Casparie, senior vice president of Shell’s European chemicals and products business.

Keith Cleason, vice president of Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives, added: This milestone demonstrates that low carbon emissions manufacturing technologies are within reach. The collaboration with Shell has the potential to reshape the way our industry manufactures products in future decades.”

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist


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