Hengelo, The Netherlands, October 26, 2022
Is it possible to decarbonize a snack? That’s the question globally renowned food producer PepsiCo set out to answer in their recent collaboration with clean energy provider Eneco and thermal energy storage experts (and Koolen Industries group company) Kraftblock.
The decarbonization project
At PepsiCo’s plant in Broek op Langedijk, Eneco and Kraftblock are working together to help the company more sustainably produce their Cheetos and Lays crisp ranges. The project will transition the plant from natural gas to renewable electricity, saving 8,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and minimizing PepsiCo’s environmental footprint.
Kraftblock’s thermal storage unit is at the heart of this new set-up, providing PepsiCo the ability to store and convert renewable energy generated from wind and solar installations for use at the optimal moment. The heat produced can then be used to fry their famous snacks more sustainably.
PepsiCo will first start with two Kraftblock units, resulting in an initial CO2 emission reduction of around 51% with plans to expand the project to reach their target of a 98% reduction.
See the project in action
This collaboration is an example of the kind of impact that clean energy technology can have on large-scale production and is the type of innovation we strive for within the Koolen Industries group.
More about the Kraftblock technology
Kraftblock designs and builds systems to decarbonize industrial process heat. The core of these systems is multifunctional, high-temperature thermal energy storage. The scientifically patented iron slag inside the storage unit absorbs heat at temperatures up to 1300°C, is made from 85% recycled materials, and has the lowest carbon footprint of any storage materials except for water. The Kraftblock storage system provides energy on flexible temperature levels for every producing industry with stationary as well as mobile systems. The lifespan of the storage unit is at least 15,000 cycles, equating to more than 40 years when used once a day.
Kraftblock and Koolen Industries
Kraftblock joined the group in 2020 after a funding round that saw Koolen Industries invest €3 million in the growing German energy storage company. Koolen Industries’ Founder and CEO Kees Koolen saw alignment between Kraftblock's goals and his own: “By capturing and using heat that is normally lost, Kraftblock technology can make the industry carbon neutral. By storing renewable energy, it is possible to provide people with clean energy anywhere, anytime, even when there is no sun or wind,” said Koolen at the time.
Phase 1 of the PepsiCo/Eneco/Kraftblock collaboration is scheduled for completion toward the end of 2023 and should the project be a success, PepsiCo plans to employ additional Kraftblock units to reach their 98% emission reduction target.
With PepsiCo’s ambitious goal to become climate neutral worldwide by 2040, it’s possible the Broek op Langedijk project could be the first of many collaborations for Kraftblock.
Martin Schichtel, Chief Executive Officer of Kraftblock is well prepared for this possibility thanks to the support from Koolen Industries: “With the multi-million dollar investment from Koolen Industries and the valuable support from Kees Koolen, we intend to continue the projects in our pipeline, grow the team and fund upcoming internationalization.”
Read the press release here.