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Collaboration to reduce emissions

04 February 2022

ABB AND Finnish technology company, Coolbrook, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commercialise and accelerate the adoption of Roto Dynamic Reactor (RDR) technology in a bid to significantly reduce GHG emissions in steam cracking plants.

The agreement 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.  

Olefins, such as ethylene and propylene, are the key raw materials used in the chemical industry. Currently, the leading technology for olefin production is steam cracking by high-temperature pyrolysis (thermal decomposition) of primarily hydrocarbon feedstock, diluted with steam inside a cracking furnace.

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.

This groundbreaking RDR technology will be underpinned by ABB’s expertise in delivering automation, electrification and digitalisation to optimise 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.