Renewable HYdrogen and MEthanol Bavaria
WACKER is beginning the work of decarbonizing its industrial production processes – with renewable hydrogen.
Global warming is one of the most urgent social and economic challenges of our time, and we can only fight it successfully by working together, pooling our innovative strength and scaling up new low-CO2 technologies. WACKER is prepared to do its part to meet Paris Agreement targets and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and through our planned production and use of green hydrogen, we intend to take decisive steps toward decarbonizing our own production.
“Our project goal is to markedly cut the proportion of fossil raw material and fuel in chemical processes and products so that we narrow our carbon footprint even further. We are convinced that hydrogen is an essential component in decarbonization – whether as fuel, raw material or reducing agent.”
Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, President and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG
Sustainably produced hydrogen and methanol
As part of the RHYME (renewable hydrogen and methanol) Bavaria project, WACKER is planning to construct a plant complex that will produce green hydrogen and renewable methanol at its Burghausen site. One component of the planned complex is a 20-megawatt electrolysis plant that will generate green hydrogen from water and renewable energy. Plans also call for a synthesis plant for combining this green hydrogen with carbon dioxide from existing processes to produce renewable methanol. The synthesis plant’s expected capacity is 15,000 metric tons per year.
Hydrogen and methanol both serve as a basis for manufacturing additional products for applications such as silicones or polysilicon. Compared with existing methanol production methods, the new process could cut CO2 emissions by around 80 percent.
The Project in Numbers
CO2 as a raw material
fewer CO2 emissions than the current process
Capital expenditures for the RHYME project come to €100 million, for which WACKER has submitted a funding application to the European Union. Through its Innovation Fund, the EU has a budget of €10 billion to support innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries until 2030.
WACKER has also submitted an application for funding to the Federal Environment Ministry to provide an additional €1 billion in support for decarbonizing the energy-intensive industry. If the funding is granted, construction could begin as early as the start of next year, with the plant potentially coming onstream before the end of 2024. In addition to funding approval, the cost of electricity will also play an important role in the success of the project. Electricity needs to cost less than 4 cents per kWh in the medium term for climate-friendly production methods such as these to be cost-effective.
Read the related press release here.