Which technologies will help us with the transformation?

Today, industry uses large quantities of fossil resources such as oil and natural gas as a source of carbon and thus as the basis of our energy supply. Energy from hydrogen, electrification of industry to use renewable electricity, and the use of biomass, residual materials and accrued CO₂ from other industrial processes can provide a viable alternative. The process industry agrees that a first step towards climate neutrality is the defossilization of the energy and raw material supply.

1. Defossilization of the energy supply


Electrification is one of the building blocks of the energy transition and can help to quickly save greenhouse gases.

In the first instance, electrification simply means switching from another, usually fossil fuel, energy source to electricity. For climate protection, such a conversion makes sense if it is done using predominantly green electricity.

Therefore, in order to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions, processes that are currently still powered by coal, oil or natural gas must also be replaced by green electricity supplied by renewable energy sources.


Hydrogen today is mainly produced from natural gas using steam reforming. This releases a lot of CO₂, making it not as environmentally friendly as commonly thought.

Alternatively, hydrogen can also be produced using electricity in an electrolysis process. In this process, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen. If only electricity from renewable sources is used, the hydrogen is considered CO₂-free.

At Industriepark Höchst, hydrogen is a byproduct of production processes. The park's own hydrogen bus fleet has been refueling at hydrogen filling stations for several years, and 27 fuel-cell trains in the Rhine-Main region will do so from the end of 2022.


Industrial heat integration is a technical concept for reducing the heat and cooling demand of industrial plants. Heat integration is also called process integration.

The basic idea of heat integration is to connect processes that cool down with processes that heat up. This connection is achieved by using heat exchangers. The heat from the processes to be cooled down is used to supply the processes to be heated up.

As a result, the energy requirement to be supplied externally is minimized.

2. Defossilization of raw material supply


There are three types of recycling: mechanical recycling as the largest pillar, then solvent-based recycling, and third is chemical recycling, which involves breaking down polymers and other materials to end up with an intermediate product similar to crude oil.

Our partner ARCUS Greencycling Technologies GmbH is a leader in providing a chemical recycling solution for currently non-recyclable mixed plastic waste streams with little prior sorting or cleaning of the mixed plastic waste.

ARCUS Greencycling will have an industrial scale pilot plant built in Frankfurt-Höchst Industrial Park starting in 2022.


The industry is desperately searching for alternative raw materials that can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and precursors in the long term.

The chemical industry considers the following to be particularly promising in this respect

  1. renewable raw materials
  2. the greenhouse gas CO₂ as a new raw material, and recycled plastics
  3. recycled plastics

Biogenic waste from biochemical processes, sewage sludge, food and residues from the pharmaceutical industry have already been used for energy disposal at Industriepark Höchst for several years.

The first step is to break down the available organics in the co-digestion plant at the site. The remaining sludge is pressed and then thermally utilized in the sewage-sludge incineration plant, i.e. burned for heat recovery.

The resulting process water is purified in the wastewater treatment plant.

The biogas produced during fermentation is used to generate electricity, steam and bio natural gas.

3. Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the combination of 1 and 2


Power-to-X refers to all processes that convert green electricity into chemical energy carriers for electricity storage, electricity-based fuels for mobility or raw materials for the chemical industry.

Power-to-X can be used to produce hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles, for example, or kerosene for aircraft in a climate-friendly way. Power refers to the temporary surplus of electricity above demand, and X stands for the form of energy or the intended use in the product.

Our cluster partner INERATEC GmbH has developed a power-to-liquid process that can efficiently store excess electricity and produce CO₂-neutral fuel for mobility.

A demonstration plant at Industriepark Höchst will be the largest commercial facility of its kind worldwide, with a capacity of up to 4.6 million liters of e-fuels that can be produced annually from up to 10,000 metric tons of CO₂. E-fuels and e-chemicals will be produced from both CO₂ and green hydrogen.


Our mobility is increasingly electrified, but hydrogen is also a good alternative to fossil fuels.

Buses at Industriepark Höchst are already fueled with hydrogen from industrial processes.

Starting in late 2022, 27 passenger trains throughout the Rhine-Main region will also be refueled via the hydrogen filling stations at Industriepark Höchst.

A combination of electrification and hydrogen is also an option - hybrid mobility solutions are increasingly in demand, as they combine advantages of both technologies and can compensate for disadvantages (e.g. short ranges, long charging times).

Your contact persons

Prof. Dr. Hannes Utikal
Head of Center for Industry and Sustainability
+49 160 9737071


Dr.-Ing. Marcel Loewert
Business Development Manager
+49 152 03050678
[email protected]


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