In the world of increasing emissions and climate change, decarbonization is a key term used to describe phasing out of carbon dioxide emissions from the use of fossil fuels. It is a critical aspect of managing the global greenhouse gas problem. In the strictest sense of the word, decarbonization means removing the carbon from the process chain. In wider use, today the decarbonization term is also used to describe avoiding the combustion of fossil fuels to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Moving towards a low-carbon future
The climate change concerns are addressed more intensively every year and having increasing impact on the change of energy generation and processing habits. One of the major points of attention in the climate change discussion is reduction of the greenhouse gases emission from the industry. Across the various industries, the fossil fuels are used not only for the power generation, but also for heating applications, serving as a primary source for process heat in energy-intensive industries. Combustion of fossil fuels is currently one of the major sources of GHG emissions worldwide and the need of decarbonized technologies is emerging quickly.
Global energy transition
World’s global economy has gone through many energy transitions in its development course, switching from wood to the dominance of coal, succeeded by oil and then natural gas. Until now, most of the changes were driven by the convenience and cost-competitiveness, while the environmental aspects of fuel choice were not among the important considerations. In the face of global climate crisis, the industry realizes the necessity of moving towards a low-carbon future. In every country, there is currently a substantial shift towards the renewable energy sources as environmentally sustainable and climate friendly alternative to create power.
According to the International Energy Agency (2017), industrial heat makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand and almost one-fifth of global energy consumption. It and create one of most substantial streams of CO2 emitted every year, as the big majority of industrial heat comes from the fossil fuel combustion. The decarbonization of this sector requires a big shift in how industrial heat is generated, especially in the sector of high temperature heating.
The electricity sector is experiencing its most dramatic transformation since its creation more than a century ago. Electricity is increasingly the “fuel” of choice in economies that are relying more on lighter industrial sectors, services and digital technologies. Its share in global final consumption is approaching 20% and is set to rise further. Policy support and technology cost reductions are leading to rapid growth in variable renewable sources of generation, putting the power sector in the vanguard of emissions reduction efforts but requiring the entire system to operate differently in order to ensure reliable supply.
– World Energy Outlook 2018, IEA
Different paths to decarbonization of industry
There are several approaches in achieving the decarbonization of industrial processes. One of the most important is electrification of the existing processes for heat treatment. Our technology answers to this demand by offering mineral calcination, reclaiming, regeneration and thermochemical treatment processes carried with electrically heated technologies like Spirajoule.
Other important approach covers substitution of the fossil fuels themselves, by producing a climate-friendly, sustainable alternative to industrial coals and gases. We address this approach by using Biogreen technology, which is a high-temperature pyrolysis process allowing to generate biocarbon and calorific gases from biomass, waste and residues. Thanks to this approach, energy-rich and environmentally friendly products of the process can replace natural gas or traditional coal in the industrial applications.
Electrically powered technologies as key to decarbonization
The development of renewable energies is creating a new space for innovative technologies that allow heating and processing the bulk products through electricity alone. These technologies are helping decarbonization by offering the same results with emission-free, fossil-free based process. Unlike the fossil-based systems, electricity-based solutions can be independent on the variation of gas and coal prices and face of the rapid cost-decrease of renewable energy sources, this approach becomes more and more competitive strategy for decarbonization.
As a result, global companies are revising their sustainability strategies to move away from fossil fuel consumption and search for solutions to electrify their processes.
A much stronger push for electric mobility, electric heating and electricity access could lead to a 90% rise in power demand from today to 2040, compared with 60% in the New Policies Scenario, an additional amount that is nearly twice today’s US demand.
– World Energy Outlook 2018, IEA
Substitution of fossil fuels through ETIA technologies
Bio-carbons, also called bio-coal are a natural substitutes of solid fossil fuels. Derived from biomass pyrolysis processes, they allow to replace the peak fuels for biomass boilers or metallurgic carbon. They are also often used as an adsorption materials, soil amendments or improvements for agriculture. Bio-carbon used as a soil enhancement is a carbon sink thanks to its stability. The industry around the word is looking into the bio-carbon products as environmentally friendly alternative that can successfully replace the traditional fossil-derived products. As one of the answers to this trend, we have developed a dedicated system for biochar production (Biogreen) as well as unique, certified soil amendment for the French market (Hydrochar WB10)
Natural gas substitution.
Thermochemical conversion of biomass and residues results not only in production of bio-carbon, but also calorific syngas that can be used as an energy source. This is why very often production of solid products is realized directly at the industrial site, allowing to use the energy byproduct to produce industrial heat, steam or power. Thanks to this advantage, the operators gain opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by replacing traditionally used gas fuels.
Towards a more sustainable industry
We believe in climate friendly industry. The way we support this idea is by proposing alternatives to the old, fossil-fuel based processes. Our concept is based on clean electricity to support the global energy transition. And since 30 years, we produce precise, high quality equipment.