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The most climate-friendly glycol-based heat transfer liquids

"The most environmentally friendly product doesn’t even have to be produced — again."

One of the pillars of the increasingly emerging concept of the circular economy is the greatest possible level of regeneration and reuse. Within this framework, the life of products and materials is extended as much as possible, and the emission of excess greenhouse gases, along with waste, is reduced to a minimum.

Achieving this is already possible for glycol-based heat transfer fluids (propylene or ethylene glycols as well), thereby significantly reducing the extraction of fossil or renewable energy sources that are necessary for their production, thus reducing further CO2 emissions.

For the first time on the domestic market, and currently the only one in Hungary, VETTÓ Kft. offers regenerated propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol) and ethylene glycol (1,2- ethanediol) media: Propilen-Glecol® and Etilen-Glecol®.

Thanks to the purification technology patented by our partner companies, the collected propylene and ethylene glycols have the standard quality and content parameters at the end of the regeneration process, thus ensuring the same heat and antifreeze capacity. In this way, users of these products can simultaneously contribute to an increasingly carbon-neutral and sustainable world and continue to operate as usual, which in many cases cannot be said about the green transition, affecting many industries.

Figure 1: Life cycle of regenerated Etilen- and Propilen-Glecol® products

(Source: Vettó Kft)

Figure 2: General life cycle of hydrocarbon-based ethylene and propylene glycols (Source: Vettó Kft)

As the result of the above-mentioned process, the production of the regenerated Propilen-Glecol® emits 90% less, and the regenerated Etilen-Glecol® emits 75% less carbon dioxide than their current hydrocarbon-based versions (RISE Research 2019).

Chart 1: Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions

(Source: Vettó Kft – RISE Research 2019 data base)

Chart 2: Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions

(Source: Vettó Kft. - RISE Research 2019 database)

As the cycle process completely loses the phase of re-extraction, production and transport, significant reductions in emissions can be achieved, thus preventing the release of carbon dioxide, which has been blocked for millions of years during the extraction of raw materials from hydrocarbons and the incineration of the used glycols.

As it can be seen in the production flowchart of the ethylene glycol below, which is identical to propylene glycol-related one, a circular process is initiated after one-off production and use.

Figure 3: The production process of the regenerated Etilen-Glecol®

(Source: Vettó Kft)

Figure 4: The production process of hydrocarbon-based ethylene glycol

(Source: Vettó Kft)

Materials and products that can be regenerated as often as possible, such as Propilen-Glecol® and Etilen-Glecol®, are very much within the framework of the circular economy and even function as forerunners. The European Union intends to promote the initial phase of this new economic model with great efforts, with ideas such as targeted tax incentives for renewable and recycled materials/products and a carbon duty on energy- and carbon-intensive raw materials (e.g. steel and cement) or fossil fuels (coal, natural gas or oil) imported into the Union.

Such steps would further facilitate the rapid uptake of this approach even in the field of industrial chemicals.

Figure 5: Butterfly Chart - Circular Economy

(Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2013)


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