Meet the world's only technology capable of electrifying one of the world's most polluting industrial processes – steam cracking in the production of petrochemicals.
Olefins like ethylene and propylene are the main raw materials in the chemical industry, used primarily in the production of plastics. Today, olefins are produced with steam cracking, a highly-polluting process that involves the high-temperature pyrolysis of mostly hydrocarbon feedstock, diluted with steam, inside a cracking furnace.
Our revolutionary RotoDynamic Reactor (RDR) technology electrifies this previously fossil-heavy process, reducing process emissions by 100%. That means 300 million metric tons annually. What's more, we enable increased utilization of recycled and bio-based feedstocks, thereby further decreasing the lifecycle CO2 footprint of plastics.
Olefins are traditionally produced by steam cracking ethylene or naphtha at extremely high temperatures in massive cracker furnaces. The core reacting mixture is heated in tubular coils from the outside of the reaction zone through tube walls using non-renewable fossil fuels and massive amounts of energy. It is this part of the process that is the main source of CO2 emissions in olefin production.
Instead of heating the feedstock mixture from outside the reaction zone, RDR's high-velocity rotor blades create thermal energy to heat the mixture inside the reaction zone – quickly and much more efficiently. RDR uses renewable electric power, making it the only technology capable of cutting 100% of direct process emissions.
With revolutionary benefits like zero CO2 emissions and 60% higher profit, RDR is an extremely attractive technology for petrochemical producers.
This game-changing technology already exists today and a large and growing number of global industrial players and governments have already expressed great interest in using it to cut CO2 emissions and meet crucial climate targets.
Our RDH and RDR technologies are currently being piloted, with commercial demonstration projects beginning in 2022. The technology can be retrofitted to existing production plants and will be ready for large-scale use in 2024.
RDR brings together space science, turbomachinery and chemical engineering. With aerodynamic action achieved through a rotating blade flow, RDR can replace conventional furnaces by directly imparting the rotor shaft’s mechanical energy to the hydrocarbon fluid needed to produce olefins.
The pilot version of RDR.
Our revolutionary rotating machinery technology combines space science, turbomachinery and chemical engineering. RDR's electric motor drives the rotors, gas is accelerated to very high velocities and then slowed down in the diffuser, creating a shockwave that converts kinetic energy into thermal energy.
“RDR has the potential to really become the new industry standard in olefins production.”
Professor, University of Oxford
RDR reactors can be manufactured in one location and delivered to ethylene plants worldwide. They are one tenth of the size of traditional reactors.
RDR reactors (on right) are one tenth of the size of traditional reactors (on left).
Production at plants equipped with RDR runs smoothly compared to production at plants using fossil-heavy furnaces that require monthly decoking breaks. RDR's low coke production rate and the possibility to use numerous RDRs ensure uninterrupted olefin production.
Optimal temperature and residence time. RDR has short residence at high temperature resulting high yield with less energy and CO2 emissions.
Because RDR creates higher temperatures with a shorter residence time, it is able to achieve 20% higher Ethylene yields. For petrochemical producers, that translates into increased annual profits of over 200M$ per 1 million metric tonnes Ethylene plant. Shorter residence times and higher temperatures also mean that RDR is less prone to coking than conventional furnaces, resulting in lower operational costs and increased up time.
And that 20% higher Ethylene yield also means fewer CO2 emissions per Ethylene ton. Taking RDR into use also decreases capital expenditure when building a new Ethylene plant.