From exhaust gas to raw material: intelligent technologies reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and give benefit to the environment and plant operators. Industrial activities are one of the largest generators of carbon dioxide (CO2) discharged as exhaust gas. Therefore, it is also considered as one of the biggest pollution factors.
Although one of the main objectives of the Paris climate agreement of 2015 is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), emissions have increased since 2017. A development that will also be focused at this year's Earth Day on 22 April 2018. In particular, carbon dioxide can be recovered from industrial processes and recycled to be reduced in the atmosphere. This is an important advantage for the environment. But the industry also profits in various ways by recycling CO2 from exhaust gases.
Innovative Technologies prevent environmental impacts and economic losses
“The mere emission of CO2 in form of exhaust gas does not only pollute our atmosphere, it also loses cash,” says Corinne Ziege, Managing Director of CRYOTEC Anlagenbau GmbH, a subsidiary of EPC Group. The Wurzen-based company specialized in technical gases, has been planning and building plants for air separation and treatment of process exhaust gases since 1995. In particular, the demand for CRYOTEC’s CO2 technologies have increased considerably in the past years.
„There are two particular applications for carbon dioxide,“ Corinne Ziege explains. "First of all, it can be inserted directly into greenhouses. As a natural fertilizer, it considerably increases the profitability. Furthermore, CO2 can be reused as a raw material, as it is often the case in methanol production plants". The carbon dioxide is filtered out from the exhaust gas, cleaned in several steps and compressed. Depending on requirements, CO2 will either be recycled directly as a gas or after subsequent liquefaction. This is a great way for plant operators to save raw material costs while increasing the efficiency of plants and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "Due to low operating costs and low maintenance requirements it is possible to reach a return on investment (ROI) after a short time," Corinne Ziege adds.
Dry Ice – coolant of the future
A further popular method for recycling CO2 is the production of dry ice. For the production, carbon dioxide is separated from the exhaust gas and then purified and liquefied. The liquid CO2 is then expanded to ambient pressure and partially evaporated. The energy required for evaporation is extracted from the liquid CO2, which leads to freezing and the final product: dry ice. The frozen CO2 is then pressed into block or pellet form and is ready for use.
Dry ice offers a wide range of applications within the food industry, e.g. refrigeration of fish, meat or beverages, for events and shows, whenever a fog effect is needed. Dry ice is also used for medical transportation of sensitive products such as organs or blood. In the industry it is used for cleaning of sensitive surfaces by dry ice blasting, for refrigeration of technical equipment and machinery and for metalworking. „Due to its extraordinary properties, dry ice offers a various range of applications,“ explains Managing Director Corinne Ziege. „Dry ice has a constant temperature of -78,5°C (-109,3°F). It doesn’t melt but evaporates residue-free. This is where the term “dry ice” comes from. Also, it is non-toxic, odor- and tasteless and prevents and even inhibits bacterial and fungal growth.”
Dry ice plants are also profitable for private investors
In comparison to the achievable profits from the sale of dry ice, the costs for the construction of a dry ice plant are moderate and can be amortized within three to five years. The requests for dry ice are rising continuously, as it has already established itself as the coolant of the future, thanks to its numerous positive properties. Therefore, also private investors are very interested in the construction of dry ice plants.
Please find more details about our subsidiary CRYOTEC Anlagenbau GmbH at: www.cryotec.de
More information on the CO2 technologies can also be found here.