LANXESS: One development with a clear effect

Speciality chemicals group LANXESS erected a nitrous oxide reduction plant at Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen, which neutralises 5,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide each year. The investment finances itself through saved emissions certificates.

At Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen, there is an industrial plant that finances itself: LANXESS erected a nitrous oxide reduction plant there, which neutralises 5,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide per year. That corresponds to approximately 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year, for which the speciality chemicals group must no longer provide emissions certificates. The group has used them to finance the ten-million euro investment: "It therefore serves both to protect the environment and our commercial interests", explains Dr Rainier van Roessel, a member of the Board of Directors at LANXESS.

Engine for progress:

  • neutralises 5,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide every year
  • saves 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents each year
  • plant financed through emissions certificates
  • first industrial “Joint Implementation Project” in Germany
  • heat generated is fed into the supply network for the chemicals park

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Heavyweight climate protection: The LARA nitrous oxide reduction plant at the location in Krefeld-Uerdingen neutralises nitrous oxide with an equivalence of approximately 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

LANXESS uses Kyoto protocol to refinance climate protection efforts

The nitrous oxide reduction plant is the first industrial Joint Implementation project to be put into operation in Germany. This is an emissions trading instrument between the industrialised countries set out in the Kyoto protocol: A country or company obliged to reduce its emissions finances a climate protection project in another country obliged to reduce emissions and is credited in return for the reduction in emissions generated by the project. In this way, LANXESS can refinance its investment volumes for building the plant by selling emission certificates that are no longer required due to the reduction in nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide is split and further used to produce heat

With this project, LANXESS increases resource efficiency in its production process: In a thermal process, nitrous oxide is separated into its component parts – oxygen and nitrogen – from the waste gas stream from adipic acid production at temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees centigrade. The heat produced in this process provides steam that is fed into the supply network for further use at Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen. Nitrous oxide was traditionally used in medicine as an anaesthetic. Today, it is associated, among other things, with being used as a propellant for foods, in whipped cream dispensers for example.

European industry follows suit

The project clearly demonstrates how industry in North Rhine-Westphalia can contribute to the state's reduction targets – and encourages its competitors to participate too. Meanwhile, many European manufacturers have followed the example of Krefeld-Uerdingen and reduced their emissions using Joint Implementation projects.

Partners and sponsors

  • LANXESS Deutschland GmbH