The Antwerp-Rotterdam Rhein Ruhr Chemical Megacluster - in transition toward a Smart Specialisation

By Dr. Ludo Diels - research manager Sustainable Chemistry at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)

 

Process intensification and the partial replacement of fossil based resources by biomass-based and renewable resource form the basis for the Sustainable Chemistry Development. The integration of waste (including also waste gases as CO2 and H2) and wastewater management and technologies are key in the development of a sustainable World. This also is the basis of the Sewage Plus concept, a combined waste and wastewater treatment system leading to reduced energy consumption in water treatment and production.

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process safety - Introduction into incident investigation

By Ir. Jan Pranger

An incident, with or without harm or damage, demonstrates that the organisation was not able to operate as planned and indicates a flaw in its management systems. Therefore, incident investigation is an important learning tool and lessons learned must be applied at operational and management levels. Jan Pranger will present an introduction into incident investigation in the context of AIChE’s Risk Based Process Safety System framework. Especially in sensitive investigations with significant implications for the organisation, credibility is achieved by a rigorous and structured approach that warrants the integrity of the facts identified and their logical connection. Further, any investigation method is based on an accident model in which human factors must be explicitly addressed. This lecture presents several investigation methods and describes to what extent the above criteria are met and for what type of incidents they can be applied.

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CO2 Capture

By Ir. Jan Lambrichts, DOW Oil & Gas,

Ir. Gijs van Lammeren, O&Gbiss

 

CO2 Capture still very much needed

Although CO2 capture technologies already exist for decades, quite often these are seen as “unproven”, specially related to more novel electricity producing schemes. Although more recently mainly associated with green-house effects, it has other more, solid commercial reasons for its existence like crop enhancement, enhanced oil recovery, production of chemicals to name a few. It is however an expensive investment and therefore a good insight in the different technologies available is warranted, because not every technology is useful for any case. For example, on offshore platforms where space is the most critical item, membranes are more appropriate, even when these are more delicate than amine systems. In short we will try to give a good overview of the available choices.

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The madness of green PET drop-in versus the opportunities of its bio-PEF replacement

By Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Gruter - Chief Technology Officer Avantium Technology

A lot of attention has been focused on developing new technologies from non-fossil based resources for providing energy and chemicals, such as monomers for plastics and other materials. Although for energy, besides biomass, also other alternatives such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. exist, for materials the only alternative resource is biomass. In the race to bring bio-based polymers to the market, two different strategies can be observed.

On the one hand, a lot of effort is directed to produce molecules that we already use today (drop-in) such as bio-based ethylene, propylene, para-xylene (terephthalic acid) and ethylene glycol. Many of the technologies under development use carbohydrates, typically C6H12O6 as starting material. However, it can be questioned if it makes sense to produce hydrocarbons such as p-xylene (C8; no oxygen) from glucose (C6; more than half its mass oxygen).

On the other hand, does it not make more sense to develop new monomers when changing from hydrocarbon fossil fuels to carbohydrate biomass? ‘New’ monomers such as lactic acid, succinic acid, furan dicarboxylic acid and others are examples of products under development by companies that selected the alternative approach, namely to develop new materials.

In the lecture, the pro’s and con’s of ‘drop-in’ versus ‘new’ will be discussed by evaluating the options to bio-PET and its alternative bio-PEF by zooming in on economics and into technical opportunities and challenges.

Process intensification and the partial replacement of fossil based resources by biomass-based and renewable resource form the basis for the Sustainable Chemistry Development. The integration of waste (including also waste gases as CO2 and H2) and wastewater management and technologies are key in the development of a sustainable World. This also is the basis of the Sewage Plus concept, a combined waste and wastewater treatment system leading to reduced energy consumption in water treatment and production.

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Plant One - New test facility to demonstrate Innovative process technology

By Ir. Karin Husmann

 

The Chemical Industry in The Netherlands is constantly developing new products to meet the changing market demands. The petrochemical industry is the largest single industrial consumer of energy and must develop smarter and more efficient production methods.

But in-house R&D facilities may have restrictions or the company may lack the appropriate permit for the envisaged trials. As a result, the R&D process may take longer than planned.

Plant One operates a new pilot plant test facility in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region.

Plant One offers all the facilities that may be needed. Plant One has an umbrella environmental permit (unique for The Netherlands), which means you don’t lose precious time waiting for a license.

New technologies to reduce energy and feedstock inputs or use alternative, cleaner feedstocks can be tested and demonstrated on pre-industrial scale.

With Plant One, the regional competitiveness will increase thanks to supporting commercial innovation. A facility of this kind is needed because companies are often engaged in round-the-clock production, leaving little if any scope for large-scale testing of new processes and technologies.

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