From 22 to 26 August 2022, the ACHEMA took place live in Frankfurt. The ACHEMA, organized by Dechema, is an exhibition for manufacturers and service providers with participants from more than 50 countries presenting their products for the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. This year the theme was “Inspiring sustainable connections”. Not surprising, because the chemical industry is aware like no other that the industrial transformation to climate neutrality and circularity can only be achieved through cooperation in and between different value chains.
Of course the gas crisis in Europe as a result of the war in Ukraine was discussed and it is clear that this has a huge impact on the chemical industry. According to CEFIC chairman and BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller, the emphasis for the chemical industry in the coming years will be on emission reduction through electrification, citing BASF’s approaches such as the development of electric cracking, the development of two huge heat pumps with MAN and Siemens and BASF’s investment in wind farms in the North Sea. The important role of the government is also emphasized in facilitating the transition, especially in terms of the necessary infrastructure.
In addition to the fair, there were also specific highlight sessions on specific topics. I myself attended the hydrogen session where the role of hydrogen in the energy and raw materials transition was emphasized and it was indicated that the transition to green hydrogen will not succeed without the intermediate step of blue hydrogen. In the highlight session “fossil free production” there was a short presentation by Marco Bosch, head of Carbon Management Technologies from BASF and myself from TNO about industrial transformation, followed by a 30 min panel discussion and Q&A with those present in the room. There was consensus about the important role of the chemical industry for both the decarbonisation of energy use and the role in making raw materials (carbon-based and minerals/metals) more sustainable, for example by recycling and using biomass and CO2 (CCU) as raw materials. See below for the presentations of BASF and TNO.
Finally, there were concerns at Dechema as organizer about participation after Corona. The number of exhibitors was 30% lower than the 2018 edition, I have not been able to find any data about the number of visitors. The conclusion is that the ACHEMA is a good networking opportunity and gives a good sense of what is going on in the chemical industry.
Reinier Grimbergen, TNO/ChemistryNL/Suschem
The next edition of ACHEMA will take place on 10 – 14 June 2024 in Frankfurt am Main. Check out the website for more information.