How Solvay lowered its annual carbon footprint by 190,000 tonnes

Solvay's Rheinberg plant, Zignago-power, in Germany modernized and lowered its annual carbon footprint by 190,000 tonnes

In 2018, Solvay initiated a major modernisation of the energy production at its Rheinberg plant in Germany. The Solvay plant produces soda and soda bicarbonate required for the manufacturing of e.g. glass, solar panels, detergents, baking powder and flue gas cleaning.

Solvay decided to initiate this major modernisation project based on:

  • customer demand for products based on green energy
  • a need to react to increasing CO2 tax
  • an internal goal to make Solvay more competitive.

To achieve its ambitious goal, Solvay contracted AET to supply an AET Biomass Boiler (90 MWth, 111 bara, 480 °C) to generate steam for a steam turbine that produces green electricity and process steam to produce chemicals.

Some facts about the project:

  • The most modern combustion technology with high boiler efficiency and the lowest internal power consumption in the industry
  • The AET Biomass Boiler fulfils the stringent German emission legislation; 17th BImschV
  • The waste wood is collected locally, allowing the regional community to deposit waste in a green and safe way and thereby supporting a circular economy.

With the well-proven AET Combustion System it operates with 2.0-2.5% O2. The very low oxygen content enables the plant to have an extremely low specific in-house consumption of approximately 1.3%. See more details on low O2 content at 'The advantages of a well-designed biomass boiler and combustion system'.

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The project assists the phase out of coal and has helped Solvay lower the carbon footprint of its Rheinberg plant by 190,000 tonnes CO2 per year while also reducing other emissions like sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

“During the project, AET has shown great commitment and flexibility to fulfil the time schedule, especially taking Covid-19 into consideration,” Norbert Mülders, Plant Manager and Managing Director of the Rheinberg facility, said. “AET is definitely a good partner in the long-term perspective with low OPEX, including high boiler efficiency, low power consumption and low maintenance costs.”

Solvay is not the only company that AET has helped. To read more success stories, download our free e-book.

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