Plastic has revolutionized people's lives with its many applications. Garbage bags, plastic bottles, pipes, and much more: Without the chemical building block ethene, these plastic products would not exist. This makes it more important to produce ethene in the future in a way that is as climate friendly as possible. Heraeus is a partner in a research project that is developing a sustainable technology path to produce ethene - without fossil raw materials and with significantly lower CO2 emissions.
The gas ethene, also known as ethylene, is an indispensable basic building block of the chemical industry. Among other things, it is a starting material for the widely used plastic polyethylene, which is used for films and packaging, for example. To date, ethene has been produced almost exclusively from crude oil and other fossil raw materials. First, crude oil is thermally cracked using a process known as steam cracking, and ethene is separated in a second step. This process requires a lot of energy. Each ton of ethene produced emits around 1.12 tons of CO2.