An important step on our path to greenhouse gas reduction
For many years, we have been generating our own electricity by using our photovoltaic systems and by obtaining 100% green energy from external sources. This has allowed us to gradually reduce the proportion of fossil energy sources in our company. To cover the substantial demand for heating and cooling in our production process from sustainable energy sources, we had to develop an individual comprehensive concept for the establishment of an alternative energy generation system. The CO2 extraction process is based on the variable properties of carbon dioxide, which is gaseous at normal pressure and room temperature. We use it as an extraction agent in its different thermodynamic states. To achieve these states, the production facilities need to be heated and cooled in a 3-shift operation. Heat has traditionally been obtained from fossil energy sources, and cold has been generated by using electrically operated air-cooled standard chillers. We have now changed that. Extensive investments in sustainable alternative energy generation. In recent months, we have expanded the technical facilities for the use of solar energy and the recovery of process heat. A new propane refrigeration system with heat recovery provides the required process cooling. The waste heat generated is recovered by a high-temperature heat pump and reintroduced into the cycle as process heat. The heat pump is also supported by a new solar thermal field on our company premises. Sufficiently large hot water and cold water buffer tanks provide enough capacity for the new alternative energy supply to work independently of time and in a thermally smoothed manner. The additional required electrical energy will also be provided by expanding our photovoltaic systems. By opting for environmentally friendly, natural refrigerants such as propane and increasing the energy efficiency of our production through the recovery of process heat, we are once again significantly reducing the share of fossil energy sources. The implementation of our innovative and sustainable energy concept will enable us to be nearly energy self-sufficient, at least during the summer months. These measures will also contribute to further reduce our carbon footprint significantly in the coming years and bring us closer to our goal of climate neutrality.