LANXESS inaugurated a nitrous oxide reduction plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium. The plant breaks down around 500 metric tons of nitrous oxide per year, which is equivalent to the climate impact of 150,000 metric tons of CO2. LANXESS has invested around EUR 10M in its construction. A second plant is scheduled to start up in 2023 and is expected to eliminate a further 300,000 tons of CO2 equivalents (CO2e).
At temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius, LANXESS breaks down the nitrous oxide into its harmless components nitrogen and oxygen in the new plant, thus neutralizing it completely.
Thanks to the innovative combination of these processes the plant is highly thermally efficient. This is ensured by specially developed ceramic heat exchangers. These capture and store the heat used in the thermal oxidation process and generated during the breakdown of nitrous oxide and nitrogen oxides. When the heat exchangers have stored the heat from the clean gas, the process flow changes direction and the heat exchangers now preheat the incoming exhaust gas. This means that significantly less external energy has to be supplied to keep the process running.