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12-09-2023 | Ceramic Technology | Editor´s Pick | News

Rath Reduces CO2 Emissions by 70 % in Silicon Carbide Production

Author: Leyla Buchholz

1 min reading time

At the Rath plant in Lower Austria, two new vacuum nitriding furnaces, used to produce silicon carbide plates and bricks, are now being operated with electricity. The result: CO2 emissions are around 70 % lower.

The efficient, resource-saving use of materials and a sustainable approach to the environment in the manufacture of its products are highly relevant to internationally operating refractories manufacturer Rath. Great focus is therefore being placed on the continuous and innovative optimization of production.  This can be seen at Rath's Krummnußbaum plant in Lower Austria. Two furnaces, in which silicon carbide plates and bricks for the lining of domestic waste incinerators are produced in a nitrogen atmosphere, have been operated electrically since February 2022. Only thermal post-combustion is still gas-powered. This means that three out of ten industrial furnaces are now operated electrically at this Rath plant. Heinz Wallner, Head of Production Plant Krummnußbaum, gives an initial assessment: "Encouragingly, CO2 emissions have reduced by around 70 % in the electrically-powered furnaces compared to our gas-powered furnace. For SIC production, this means a CO2 reduction per ton of fuel of about 1.9 tons."

Lower energy requirements thanks to heat treatment process conversion

By changing the heat treatment process from gas to electricity, the existing material and geometry of the firing boxes were adapted and integrated into the firing chamber. To enable the products inside the boxes to be exposed to a nitrogen atmosphere, the firing boxes must be subjected to high temperatures. The changes allow for shorter heating and firing times for this energy and time-intensive process, which in turn results in lower energy requirements.


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Background information for this content

2018 | Book

High Performance Structural Materials

Proceedings of Chinese Materials Conference 2017

2020 | Book

Handbook of Advanced Ceramics and Composites

Defense, Security, Aerospace and Energy Applications

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