February 09, 2015

E2A – Yara fights air pollution

Yara is so much more than fertilizers. In a series of articles we will try to explain why we are engaged in reducing global emissions from ships, and how reducing emissions to air – or E2A as we call it for short – has become a cornerstone in Yara’s business model
Stefano Bartoletti and another Yara employee
Stefano Bartoletti and another Yara employee

By creating synergies from our existing fertilizer business, reducing emissions from ships and battling global environmental challenges has become an integral part of Yara's business model.

Stefano Bartoletti is the driving force for developing this new E2A business area within Yara. Stefano holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been working with Yara for almost 20 years, almost exclusively with the Industrial products such as CO2, chemicals and reagents. Since 2011 he has been part of Industrial Business Development leading the first Innovation platform E2A. Now you will learn what it is all about!

What are NOx and SOx emissions?

Nitrogen oxides NOx and sulphur oxides (SOx) are created when burning fossil fuels in plants, vehicles and ships. When NOx emissions interact with sunlight they form ground-level ozone and smog. This has negative consequences for our health and for the environment.

Why are these emissions dangerous?

NOx and SOx emissions make you sick. They cause a variety of health issues from irritation of eyes and nose, shortness of breath to lung cancer. They also significantly increases the risk of asthma. The World Health Organization estimates that 800 000 people die globally every year from urban air pollution, and asthma is currently the most common chronic illness among children. NOx emissions are also the main cause for acid rain, which is bad for the environment. These emissions are a global problem with local impacts.

How does Yara create impact?

Ship at seaYara creates global impact by offering solutions to tackle air pollution. We have developed air cleansing technologies that significantly reduces the emissions of NOx and SOx emissions, thereby helping to improve air quality worldwide. This is what we refer to as the E2A (emissions to air) innovation platform. Last year, we helped our customers cleanse a total of 1.1 million tons of NOx emissions, which is the size of the total emissions in France.

Our aim is to increase that number to 1.3 million this year. The reduction in harmful emissions improves air quality and safeguards life and the environment.

How does Yara turn harmful gas into clean air?

NOx is a pollutant element that is formed during the combustion of fossil fuels. Adding ammonia will cause a chemical reaction, transforming the harmful NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. Depending on the technology used, NOx emissions can be reduce by up to 99 percent.

Why does Yara supply emission abatement technology?

Being a fertilizer company we produce ammonia and urea in our production process. When emission legislation first came into force in the 1990s, we immediately saw an opportunity to sell these reagents in emissions control processes to different industries. First to stationary plants (power generation and industry), then to the automotive sector (trucks and buses), and now recently to the maritime sector. So, in fact, we have been selling reagents for more than 20 years.

Although Yara has always been recognized for the high quality of its reagents, we were only mainly seen as a commodity provider, not a solution provider. We wanted to change that.

This is why, in 2011, we launched the E2A (emissions-to-air) innovation platform, providing customized solutions in a unique package combining technologies, reagents and services. As we predominantly are a fertilizer company, we are subject to the various agricultural seasons having impact on production planning and offtakes from our plants. The E2A business however, provides a steady offtake from our plants year round, reinforcing Yara’s overall business model.

What is the E2A platform and how does it fit into Yara’s business strategy?

The E2A platform establishes Yara as a full-service emissions control solution provider. We realized that by moving down the value chain – i.e. combining technology and the sale of reagents – we would be able to offer our customers a unique emission abatement solution.

Today, Yara is the only company supplying a comprehensive air cleansing solution: cleansing technology, chemical reagents, and aftermarket services.

Our solutions build on decades of expertise in emission control agents as well as technical knowhow. These cost-effective solutions also make good business sense for our customers enabling them to comply with ever stricter legislative requirements while making a positive impact on their communities.

Yara’s E2A operations form an integral part of the company’s strategic direction to invest in products and services that address the society challenges of environment, resources, and food security.

This interview is the first of a three-part series about E2A. Read the second and third part to learn more about Yara's E2A technologies. Stay tuned!