As a process engineer, how do you support sustainability?
Process engineering is responsible for developing and optimizing manufacturing processes for chemical products. For us, implementing sustainability does not just mean continuously optimizing processes to reduce manufacturing costs – to some extent, it also means “rethinking” and/or “redesigning” chemical processes and value chains as well as developing or further developing the associated technology platforms that make the implementation possible. Some examples of this are electrochemical process steps and the increased use of membrane processes.
What is Evonik doing in order to keep moving toward climate neutrality?
Evonik is continuously working to optimize and reduce carbon emissions, e.g. with the construction of a new gas power plant in Marl, and globally by strengthening energy efficiency measures in its assets. At one of our production sites, we are currently conducting a sustainability study so we can consider various measures to reduce carbon emissions. These individual measures are then used to build scenarios that will help us reach the goal of zero emissions. In other words, we don’t just want to save a little bit of carbon – we want to consistently reduce it along the entire path. By looking at different scenarios at the same time, we can create a solid factual basis for future decisions.
Among other things, our project involves developing a “carbon dioxide monitor” that we can use to visualize the current and historical carbon dioxide emissions of individual plants and of the entire site. With this carbon dioxide monitor, we can identify the major emission sources and document the success of reduction measures in the long term.
Overall, the project serves as a model: the methodical, structured approach can easily be transferred to other sites.
Why is Evonik an attractive employer for process engineers early in their career?
I have now worked for Evonik for more than thirty years in the areas of process engineering and production technology. During that time I have been able to work on many interesting projects at different sites. Most of them involved innovative research projects in our labs and technical centers, along with investment projects in our factories. As a “full-blooded process engineer,” I am always excited to see how our work contributes to the company’s success, but also to the agenda of sustainability. In our current project, my team and I have the opportunity to rethink processes, question familiar structures and break old habits. The new ideas from our young colleagues provide valuable inspiration. The entire team is extremely dedicated and motivated, and we were very pleased to receive a Responsible Care Award from the Chemical Industry Council in 2021.