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BASF’s Ludwigshafen complex in southwest Germany
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Saudi-German team takes aim at green cracking

Petrochems titans are working together to electrify a carbon-intensive core process

For some years, the world’s petrochemicals giants have been mulling the means to make one of their core processes—the steam-cracking of hydrocarbons to create the industry’s basic building blocks—less environmentally toxic. They may now be on the verge of a breakthrough. The increasing urgency of the endeavour, as decarbonisation momentum builds, has manifested in various research collaborations between leading players focused primarily on using renewables-generated electricity, rather than burning fossil fuels to generate the enormous temperatures required. Sabic’s historic and geographical roots make the prospective move to renewables-based ethylene production more of a wrench



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