From next year, the DuPont Nutrition & Health plant in Grindsted, Denmark, will become virtually carbon dioxide neutral when the plant's large coal boiler is retrofitted to burn wood chips.
“To fire with wood chips instead of coal is a huge win for the environment,” says Plant Manager Martin K. Madsen, DuPont in Grindsted. “Not only will we remove 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide currently produced using non-renewable energy, but we will also increase the amount of ‘waste’ energy that we sell to the local district heating network."
A reduction of 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide is equivalent to removing 20,000 average Danish cars from the road for a year. The energy consumption at Grindsted, which is one of the world's largest emulsifier plants and also produces other ingredients for the global food industry, corresponds to the heat consumption in a city with about 10,000 residents.
Local district heating switched on
DuPont is committed to sustainability at its plants and has been investing in energy efficiency as well as strong interaction with the local district heating supplier for many years providing excess heat to the local district heating network in Grindsted since November 2011, covering about 8% of consumption. The green transition will bring a further benefit to the 3,600 district heating consumers. DuPont will expand its delivery to cover about half the heat consumption by harvesting the excess heat in the flue gas that is emitted from the wood chip boiler.
The Danish Agency Energy has agreed to financially support DuPont in its sustainability energy measures at Grindsted with up to DKK 61 Million.
Green transition is worthwhile
Troels Ranis, branch director of the energy group in the Confederation of Danish Industries, says the project is a good example of how companies can contribute to the green transition.
“We are experiencing an increasing interest from companies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," he says. “The project in Grindsted can show other companies that conversion to renewable energy and focusing on sustainability goes hand in hand with commercial interests today.”
DuPont has worked with the project for a few years and expects to start construction in August, so the plant will be operating by the first half of 2017.
Sustainability in focus
Plant Manager Martin K. Madsen points out that the project not only improves energy efficiency, it also makes the plant more competitive.
Additionally, the shift to renewable energy is a natural extension of increased sustainability in the company’s production at all DuPont Nutrition & Health plants. One of the main products from Grindsted are emulsifiers, which use palm oil as the main raw material. The site has also been leading when it comes to sustainable sourcing of palm oil, and switched to 100% Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) certified palm oil in 2014/15. Sustainable sourcing of wood chips will also be a strong priority for the Grindsted plant.
DuPont Nutrition & Health combines in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition with current research and expert science to deliver unmatched value to the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries. We are innovative solvers, drawing on deep consumer insights and a broad product portfolio to help our customers turn challenges into high-value business opportunities.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.