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Saving energy in the production of chemicals

May 09, 2019 / Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Whether in agriculture, industry or private households, chemicals are needed everywhere. However, their production requires a very large amount of energy. With a new type of hybrid access, energy can be saved in the double-digit percentage range depending on the plant and process. The development took place in the team of Dr. Michael Bortz and Prof. Karl-Heinz Küfer at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM, for which they will be awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize. Plastics, detergents, fertilizers—these substances have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. As different as they are, they have one thing in common: they are produced from certain basic chemicals that the chemical industry produces in bulk. However, this requires a lot of energy: chemical production accounts for 20 percent of Europe's total commercial energy requirements. If these can be reduced, this will protect both the environment and the budgets of the companies. Tr...