CO2-neu­tral ener­gy sup­ply for indus­tri­al sites using the exam­ple of a chem­i­cal park

The SPIN research project CO2NEICHEM is devel­op­ing con­cepts for the nec­es­sary ener­gy and raw mate­r­i­al turn­around using the CHEMPARK as an exam­ple. The aim is to devel­op a con­tin­u­ous and reli­able, com­pet­i­tive, cross-sec­toral and effi­cient sup­ply of elec­tric­i­ty, heat­ing and cool­ing based on renew­able ener­gies, tak­ing into account the required infra­struc­ture. The par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge here is that chem­i­cal pro­duc­tion process­es are pre­dom­i­nant­ly very heat-inten­sive and to a small extent require process steam at high tem­per­a­tures of up to 500 degrees Cel­sius. Part­ners of the SPIN project are Siemens Ener­gy, CURRENTA and the Ruhr Uni­ver­si­ty Bochum.

Numer­ous pro­duc­tion process­es in the chem­i­cal indus­try are heat-inten­sive process­es that con­tin­u­ous­ly require process heat in the form of process steam with tem­per­a­tures of up to 500 degrees Cel­sius at high out­put and with high sup­ply reli­a­bil­i­ty. The demand for process steam in the chem­i­cal indus­try is fore­see­ably expect­ed to remain con­stant, sub­ject to dis­rup­tive process inno­va­tions. Beyond a cli­mate-neu­tral pow­er sup­ply, a CO2-neu­tral heat sup­ply is thus of out­stand­ing impor­tance for the pro­duc­tion sites of the chem­i­cal industry.

The tech­nolo­gies required for this are cur­rent­ly based in part on devel­op­ments that are also need­ed for CO2-free peak-load or back­up pow­er plants. For the require­ments of chem­i­cal indus­tri­al sites, how­ev­er, they must be sig­nif­i­cant­ly adapt­ed in terms of inte­gra­tion and tech­ni­cal design so that process steam can be pro­vid­ed on a pri­or­i­ty basis and site-spe­cif­ic secu­ri­ty of sup­ply can be guaranteed.

Ener­gy sup­ply to date

Today, process steam is sup­plied via steam net­works at dif­fer­ent pres­sure lev­els, fed from plants for the com­bined gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­i­ty and heat and with waste heat from pro­duc­tion plants or waste dis­pos­al facil­i­ties. Nat­ur­al gas and, to an ever less­er extent, coal are used as fuels. The CHP plants are pre­dom­i­nant­ly oper­at­ed on a heat-led basis, i.e. addi­tion­al elec­tric­i­ty demand is cov­ered from the high­er-lev­el grid in addi­tion to CHP gen­er­a­tion. The plant oper­a­tion ensures a con­tin­u­ous and secured heat sup­ply and uses the CHP plant flex­i­bil­i­ty to inte­grate a volatile green pow­er sup­ply and con­tribute to the sta­bi­liza­tion of the pow­er system.

Nec­es­sary adap­ta­tion process­es, pos­si­bil­i­ties and requirements
A sus­tain­able CO2-free heat sup­ply on an indus­tri­al scale can in prin­ci­ple be achieved by using var­i­ous alter­na­tives. It would be pos­si­ble to gen­er­ate process heat from fluc­tu­at­ing renew­able elec­tric­i­ty in the form of PV and wind pow­er, with heat gen­er­a­tion being elec­trother­mal or using envi­ron­men­tal heat and pre­vi­ous­ly unused low-tem­per­a­ture waste heat (usu­al­ly below 100°C) through heat transformation.
Anoth­er alter­na­tive is the ener­getic use of chem­i­cal­ly stored renew­able ener­gies, for exam­ple in the form of green hydro­gen and syn­thet­ic ener­gy sources such as pow­er-to‑X.

Inno­v­a­tive devel­op­ments of the SPIN project partners

With­in the frame­work of CO2NEICHEM, the con­sor­tium part­ners are devel­op­ing an ener­gy sys­tem mod­el for an ide­al chem­i­cal park for tech­no-eco­nom­ic analy­sis and opti­miza­tion. The stud­ies will incor­po­rate inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies such as hydro­gen-fueled steam-gas tur­bines, high-tem­per­a­ture heat pumps, and ther­mal stor­age sys­tems with steam and elec­tric­i­ty stor­age. As a research out­come, the SPIN project will eval­u­ate alter­na­tive ener­gy sup­ply sys­tems and devel­op a detailed con­cept for the appli­ca­tion of the favored sys­tem for a demon­stra­tion application.