Dow Commits to Develop Cracking Technology Powered by Clean Energy

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Jun 28, 2021

(Credit: Pixabay)

Dow Inc. recently released “INtersections,” its first consolidated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report highlighting the company’s progress to fully integrate environmental stewardship and positive social impact throughout its operations, teams, supply chain and communities.

Dow’s INtersections report details how the company is delivering on its ambition and commitments to change the world for the better. Specific areas of focus include actions to reduce its carbon footprint, foster a circular economy for plastics, support its communities, and accelerate an equitable workforce. Additionally, the INtersections report highlights Dow’s best-in-class corporate governance practices that drive accountability and protect the long-term interest of its stakeholders.

Key highlights in the 2020 ESG Report include:

Environmental Performance

  • Valuing Nature: Realized $100 million in business value from nature-related projects that are both good for the environment and for business, for a total of $530 million since inception. This marks the midpoint of Dow’s $1 billion target by 2025.
  • Close the Loop: Tripled sales of products made with renewable raw materials. Today, 81 percent of Dow products for packaging applications are reusable or recyclable. Dow also introduced its first post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin for shrink film.
  • Scaling E-Cracker Technology: Working to develop an electrified cracking technology powered by clean energy.

Dow’s ESG report states that, in 2020, the company initiated a joint development agreement with Shell to develop electrified cracking technology that could be powered by clean energy, a breakthrough that could dramatically reduce emissions across the industry. Ethylene steam crackers supply chemicals used to make products that people use every day. However, today’s steam crackers rely on fossil fuel combustion to heat their furnaces, making them CO2 intensive.

Dow claims that using renewable electricity to heat steam cracker furnaces could become one of the routes to help decarbonize the chemicals industry. The challenge is to develop a technologically and economically feasible solution.

Currently, innovation project teams from both Dow and Shell in Amsterdam and Terneuzen in the Netherlands and in Texas in the United States are working to design and scale “e-cracker” technologies. A goal is to test the process technology innovations in pilot operations, and then scale to commercial crackers.

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