Dow's ability to develop low carbon solutions for the world's pressing energy and climate change challenges is built on the know-how we've used to transform our own global operations.
As one of the world's largest industrial consumers of energy, we've proven how enhancing energy sources, optimizing use and minimizing losses can provide real and sustainable benefits. Our pioneering leadership in energy efficiency since 1990 has led to:
- A 40% reduction in energy intensity
- Saving $24 billion and 5,200 trillion Btu. This is roughly equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 48 million single-family homes.*
- Preventing more than 200 million metric tons of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 16 million single-family homes.**
*Conversion Source: 2010 US Department of Energy, Buildings Energy Data Book, Table 1.5.4
**2 Cumulative Scope 1 & 2 all GHG emissions 1990 to present
Solar Generation Pilot Program
In addition to manufacturing energy-saving products, Dow is working to incorporate alternative energy into its operations. At Dow's Pittsburg, California facility, the company has installed a solar energy farm capable of generating 210 kW, which is enough energy to power 175 homes and offsets approximately 440 million pounds of CO2 per year.
Biomass to Ethanol
Dow and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are jointly developing and evaluating a process that will convert biomass to ethanol, as well as other chemical building blocks. A mixed alcohol catalyst from Dow is seen as the key to unlocking the potential for this promising, renewable energy resource. The process will use non-food ingredients, like the leaves from a corn plant or wood wastes, and convert the bio-based material through a gasification process to synthesis gas. Dow’s technology helps convert the synthesis gas into a mixture of alcohols including ethanol that can be used as transportation fuels or chemical building blocks.
Converting Solar Heat to Electricity
Dow's chemistry is essential to three 50-megawatt solar units in Spain. Using DOWTHERM™ A – a mix of specialized heat transfer fluids – to help convert heat energy into electricity, the plants will generate 150 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 90,000 homes and save 450,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Energy Efficient Wastewater Treatment
Dow's Benelux site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands has found an innovative way to transform waste into a viable form of energy savings. Terneuzen's municipal household waste water is being channeled via a special pipeline to Dow's production facility, where it is then purified and used to generate steam and feed Dow's manufacturing plants, getting a second and third life at Dow. Dow previously used water from the nearby river that needed to be desalinated; but can now use less energy and fewer chemicals to purify the household waste water, and consequently emit less carbon dioxide. The site now recycles 80 percent of its treated fresh waste water and has reduced energy consumption for producing boiler feed water by 90 percent. To complete the recycling process on the Terneuzen site, large ponds are used to capture storm water and cycle it back into the units.
Biomass to Steam
By December 2012, Dow will have added biomass to its portfolio at its largest manufacturing facility in Brazil, the Aratu Complex, sourcing more than 75 percent of its power and steam through hydropower and eucalyptus cogeneration. Energias Renováveis do Brasil (ERB) will invest, install and operate the plant, in a supply agreement with Dow. The new clean energy technology is expected to reduce the site’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 180,000 metric tons annually. Click here for more
Landfill Gas to Energy
Natural gas created by the city’s landfill is being used to generate electricity to power Dow facilities in Midland, Mich. through a power purchase agreement with the City of Midland and Consumers Energy. Recapturing the landfill gas that would ordinarily escape into the atmosphere will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,000 tons annually – which is equivalent to the output of more than 20,000 passenger cars. The Gas to Energy project will initially provide approximately 25 percent of Dow’s energy needs for its Corporate Center and is expected to source around 50 percent of Dow’s needs following the start-up of a second Gas-to-Energy facility by the City of Midland in late 2011.The City of Midland is recognized as one of the top ten cities in the U.S. for alternative energy and renewable technologies. Click here for more
Next Generation of Sustainable Housing
Dow has conducted the Dow Solar Design to Zero Competition, an international challenge to develop innovative projects incorporating solar technologies and other sustainable construction-related solutions, to design near-zero energy homes. Winners will be announced in January 2012.The competition aligns with Dow’s 2015 sustainability goals and also supports the Company’s role as global partner in the U.N.-designated 2011 International Year of Chemistry celebrating achievements in science and chemistry to address world challenges. Click here for more
DOWTHERM™ A Dual Loop Design
Dow’s dual loop CSP system design takes advantage of DOWTHERM™ A heat transfer fluid and the high temperature capabilities of molten salt to produce approximately 10% more electricity than a conventional CSP system. By using DOWTHERM™ A in the main loop and keeping molten salt confined to a smaller circuit in the system design, the main loop can continue operating reliably, even if the second loop must be shut down for maintenance, minimizing the risk of total plant shutdown.
Independent of the Dual Loop Design, DOWTHERM™ A technology helps diversify energy supply, is capable of producing power during periods of peak demand, and reduces dependence of fossil fuels, offering improved air quality and helping meet off-set goals for carbon emissions produced by existing fossil fuel power plants.
Giving Back Renewable Energy
Renewable energy credits (REC) are helping offset the environmental impact of conventional energy generation at Dow's Hebron, Ohio plant in the production of PROCITE™ Window Envelope Films. In conjunction with these efforts, Interfilm Holdings Inc., a PROCITE™ distributor, is also participating in purchasing RECs, allowing customers to support sustainability across the supply chain. For every renewable energy credit purchased, one megawatt-hour of renewable energy is generated and delivered to the power grid - enough electrical power used by 725 U.S. homes for one year. To find out more, click here.