The chemicals industry is the largest industrial energy consumer in the United States, and produces 28% of total CO2 emissions from the manufacturing sector. In total, that’s 332 million metric tons of CO2 – equivalent to the annual emissions from over 50 million cars. Much of these emissions come from process heating, with distillations and separations contributing 40% of the total energy consumption for the chemicals industry. 

Process heating also generates a significant amount of low-grade heat, which is typically released to the atmosphere as a byproduct. Technologies like Skyven Arcturus, a mechanical vapor recompression steam-generating heat pump, can harness and upgrade that heat, using it to produce steam with zero Scope 1 emissions. 

Although all facilities are unique, some common heat sources at chemicals facilities include: 

Vapor Condensation 

  • Evaporative processes: Chemicals are purified by boiling and subsequently condensing the vapors created. When vapor condenses into liquid, it releases heat to the cooling medium (typically cooling water). 
  • Equipment includes: Condensers (vapor condensers, rectifier condensers), separation towers, crystallizers, evaporators 

Combustion Exhaust

  • Cracking processes: Chemicals are combusted or indirectly heated, creating high temperature exhaust.
  • Equipment includes: Cracking furnaces, process stream heaters, thermal oxidizers, process ovens

Process Cooling

  • Temperature regulation processes: Chemical product streams are cooled after heat-intensive processes like those described above. Cooling water or other process streams are used to remove heat from chemical product streams. 
  • Equipment includes: Product/process heat exchangers, reactor jacket cooling, refrigeration system condensers, gas compression intercoolers,

Decarbonizing with Skyven

Galileo, Skyven’s first-of-its kind software modeling tool, can identify potential heat sources for decarbonization projects at your facility. With Galileo, we can quickly identify large opportunities for clean process heat, done in hours instead of months of on-site consultation. To date, Skyven has worked with manufacturers at over 50 chemical facilities to identify opportunities for clean process heat. 

If you are ready to decarbonize your chemical facility or want to learn more about decarbonization options, we’d love to have a conversation. 

Skyven is an Energy-as-a-Service provider that delivers clean process heat to industrial facilities at prices lower than natural gas. We do this by identifying, funding, and building decarbonization solutions at your facility, then maintaining them for the life of our contract.

Learn more about the Skyven process here, or reach out to to get in touch.