ABB and Coolbrook Collaborate to Reduce GHG Emissions In Petrochemical Market

By Harry Forbes

Acquisition or Partnership

ABB and Finnish technology company Coolbrook have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commercialize and accelerate the adoption of Roto Dynamic Reactor (RDR) technology in a bid to significantly reduce GHG emissions in petrochemical market, specifically steam cracking plants. The Reduce GHG Emissions In Petrochemicalagreement will unite the two companies’ expertise and create a combined offering of Coolbrook’s novel electrically driven RDR technology and ABB’s integrated, pre-engineered energy solutions, initially for use in petrochemical and chemical markets.

Coolbrook’s novel turbomachine will be able to replace a conventional furnace by directly imparting the rotor shaft’s mechanical energy to the hydrocarbon fluid. This is achieved by aerodynamic action through a rotating blade flow. When powered by electricity from renewable sources, the technology completely eliminates CO2 emissions in the steam cracking process. Coolbrook technology can also be operated with various feedstocks, including recycled and renewable feedstocks.

This RDR technology will be underpinned by ABB’s expertise in delivering automation, electrification and digitalization to optimize operational processes and simplify integration. ABB will further enhance the energy efficiency of Coolbrook’s solution through the integration of its electric motors and variable speed drives. The combined ABB and Coolbrook offering will facilitate and accelerate the uptake of this technology, enabling petrochemical and olefin producers to meet their net zero ambitions.

According to the International Energy Agency’s ‘Tracking Industry 2021’ report, direct global CO2 emissions from chemicals and petrochemical processes amounted to 1.2 billion metric tons in 2020. Electrifying process industries will significantly reduce carbon emissions, and ABB has committed to support their customers in reducing their annual CO2 emissions by 100 million metric tons by 2030.

Applying a standardized and modular approach, the collaboration will support customers from FEED stage and incorporate RDR package, electric motor and drive, automation, safety, power distribution, instrumentation and analyzers, condition monitoring and full digitalization. As a result, chemical producers will benefit from increased operational yields, lower operating costs, easier maintenance and lower capital costs.

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