By cleverly reusing carbon dioxide through industrial collaboration, chemical company INEOS Oxide in Zwijndrecht, Messer Benelux and IJsfabriek Strombeek have managed to keep 1 million tonnes of CO2 out of the air over the past ten years. The CO2 released during the production of ethylene oxide has been collected and purified at INEOS Oxide since 2010 for use in breweries, greenhouse cultivation, water purification, hospitals and refrigerated transport.
Exactly ten years ago, INEOS Oxide in Zwijndrecht started capturing the CO2 released as a by-product during the production of ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide is the basis of soaps, cosmetics, disinfectants, blood bags, washing products and lubricants for wind turbines. The CO2 flows captured by INEOS are purified, liquefied and temporarily stored on site by the industrial gas companies Messer Benelux and IJsfabriek Strombeek. This is done through the joint venture bECO2. A good example of industrial symbiosis.
From beer to corona vaccines
The CO2 is purified to a level where it can be used without any problem in the food and medical sector. In the brewing world, the use of CO2 is a must when ‘inerting’ barrels, to protect against fire or explosion. In addition, the carbon dioxide provides the necessary ‘fizz’ in the beer. In greenhouse cultivation, the supply of CO2 stimulates the growth of crops, such as tomatoes or herbs, as well as cut flowers. CO2 is also used in water purification and for various medical treatments. In logistics, CO2 is used as dry ice. This not only plays an important role in the refrigerated transport of frozen products, but is also essential to store and transport corona vaccines at the right temperature.