Whatever your views on decarbonization, the combination of public and shareholder pressure, increasing regulation, and reporting demands makes it an unavoidable industry shift that every organization must deal with. 

And while the initial outlay to decarbonize assets and processes will cost you more than simply keeping the status quo, the efficiency benefits can be substantial—not to mention the positive ethical impact it can have on your brand. 

In this article, we’ll look at the factors holding organizations back from decarbonization and how to address them through electrification. 


Why are industrial processes still reliant on fossil fuels?


Fossil fuel-powered processes still offer the best value for money—something financial controllers value highly. The costs and potential interruption associated with transitioning from carbon-intensive processes can be daunting for many organizations. 

But the truth is, fossil fuel-powered systems are aging technologies with a limited lifespan due to sustainability targets. And while burning fossil fuels is still cost-competitive compared to the expense of running decarbonized alternatives, every organization on the planet will soon need to convert to cleaner production methods.  

Moreover, the consequences of inaction will cost far more in the long term due to factors such as the cost of upgrading a system that, in sustainability terms, is effectively out of date as soon as it’s installed.

That’s why more organizations than ever are looking to electrification technologies to replace existing fossil fuel-powered systems.    

Electrification technologies are among the best ways to decarbonize industry , replacing major fossil fuel process methods, such as natural gas steam and hot water boilers, thermic fluid heaters, and hot air systems. 


Understanding the merits of electrification technologies


Even if you know you need to decarbonize, working out where to start can be a significant roadblock. 

The key to overcoming this challenge is understanding the electrification opportunity and the available technology options. 

From low to high-temperature heat applications, electrification can replace traditional fuels in almost any large-scale industrial process, such as washing, food preparation, drying, evaporation, distillation, and even steam reforming and cracking in petrochemicals. 

Key electrification technologies include: 

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are used in commercial and industrial applications for low-temperature processes, hydronic systems, and some low-pressure steam applications.

While heat pumps are an attractive option, they don’t solve the issue of moving parts that create complex installation footprints. They also rely on refrigerants, which carry leakage and disposal issues. And in colder climates, they can struggle to perform efficiently. 


Electrodes have been an industry mainstay for decades, providing a solution for electrified steam and hot water production. 

But electrode systems have large footprints, complex maintenance demands, chemical treatment and feedwater quality considerations, and wide-ranging safety issues. 

Even if you ignore the disadvantages of these technologies, they don’t offer the right capabilities to help make a complete shift from fossil fuel processes. 

For that, the best option is electric resistance technology (ERT)—a proven technology for hot water and oil, steam, and hydrocarbon gas applications, including replacing natural fossil fuel based heating use cases. It’s a dedicated electrification tool that’s proven to deliver greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and safety. 


Make electrification a reality and lead the decarbonization revolution


Whether you’re just starting your journey and exploring your decarbonization options or you’re ready to take the first step to electrification, having the right knowledge and expert advice can pay dividends. 

Download our latest white paper, Achieving decarbonization through electrification: Where and how to start your journey, to find out more about electrification and ERT and how conducting a decarbonization assessment can help set you on the right course. 

If you’d like to talk about how to make decarbonization a strategic priority in your organization, contact our team of solution experts who can offer tailored advice based on the latest industry best practices.

Want to explore more?

Download our latest white paper; Achieving Decarbonization Through Electrification. Explore where and how to start your journey and find out more about electrification and ERT.