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Uniper Partners with Evonik for Sustainable Heating

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.
A smoke stacks and a factory

This year, industrial waste heat from Evonik is to be used to supply district heating to Uniper customers in the Ruhr region. Representatives of Evonik and Uniper met at Uniper Wärme in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to sign the official start of the project.

Uniper is initially installing an innovative high-temperature heat pump at Evonik’s Herne site as part of a pilot project, making use of the local conditions: as an above-ground district heating pipeline from Uniper already runs through the site, it is possible to feed district heating into the grid from here without any major modifications.

‘I am delighted that this project marks another milestone for us on our heat transformation path towards reducing CO2 emissions. With the start of this pilot project, we are also ensuring security of supply for our district heating customers in the future. Together with Evonik, we are taking an exciting and challenging step towards the decarbonization of our heat generation,’ says managing director Jenny Banczyk, Uniper Wärme.

‘With this project, we are pioneering the use of an innovative high-temperature heat pump with a temperature increase of over 100°C. This is used to recover industrial low-temperature waste heat and helps to provide additional sustainable heat for the customers of our district heating network. A total of up to 1.5 megawatts of heat output is fed into the district heating network. The intelligent integration of the technology into the district heating system and coupling with the electricity market is the key to efficient sector coupling of electricity and heat and to the decarbonization of the district heating sector. We are confident that this project will serve as a role model and represent a building block for the success of the heating transition,’ says Arne Hauner, director of innovation at Uniper.

The project is an interplay of various components. The production facilities at the Herne site generate waste heat in varying quantities. The cooling water required in the processes heats up in the plants and now serves as a heat source. The waste heat is not released into the environment unused, instead it is raised to the required temperature level of over 100°C for the district heating network by the high-temperature heat pump and with the help of renewable energy. Around 1,000 households in Herne benefit from the heat pump. The CO2 savings amount to around 1,750 tons per year.

Dr. Rainer Stahl, Site Manager of Evonik in Herne, emphasizes: ‘With our TORTE project – technical options for recovering thermal energy – we are making a contribution in the spirit of sustainability and are pleased to have found a partner in Uniper who can and wants to use our waste heat sensibly to benefit the municipal heat supply in Herne. We recently received the first prize of the “Responsible Care Initiative” of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) for the sustainable and economical use of energy. We are very proud that our joint project with Uniper will contribute to the green transformation of our chemical site in Herne as part of a holistic concept.’

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