The Herne site comprises 17 production plants spanning over 250,000 square meters

R. Stahl, Site Manager Herne; J. Jimenez, Head of Innovation Uniper; B. Steinmetz, Head of BL Crosslinkers EMEA Region; A. Hauner, Director Innovation Uniper 

New heat pump feeds industrial waste heat from the site’s cooling towers into the district heating network 

Press release
February 9, 2024

Evonik and Uniper launch sustainable district heating project for Germany’s Ruhr region


  • Use of waste heat will save up to 1,750 tons of CO2 per year for local homes
  • Award winning TORTE project recognized for innovation and sustainability by German Chemical Industry Association’s "Responsible Care Initiative"
  • Evonik’s “Herne Green Deal” aims to eliminate fossil fuels from the site including isophorone production


Herne, Germany. Evonik and Uniper officially launched the Technical Options for Thermal Energy Recovery (TORTE) project today in Gelsenkirchen. As one of the first phases of Evonik’s ‘Herne Green Deal’ to sustainably transform the Herne chemical site, the TORTE project will feed industrial waste heat from isophorone production into the district heating network. Around 1,000 homes in the Ruhr region will be supplied by the end of 2024.

To recover this industrial low-temperature waste heat, Uniper has installed a large on site heat pump to feed up to 1.5 megawatt of heat into the district heating network to supply local customers. This sustainably recovered heat from the Herne site will help Uniper to reduce its emissions by 1,750 tons of CO2 per year. The project also supports Evonik’s sustainability ambitions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and its use of fossil resources at its sites.

“This is only the first part of Evonik's sustainability journey at Herne. Our long-term ambition for the site is to run completely independent of fossil fuels - including the elimination of fossilbased raw materials from our production and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Christian Schmidt, Head of the Crosslinkers business line. “By focusing on our footprint and the handprint of our products we’re supporting our customers in meeting their CO2 emission and performance requirements. We achieve this by using renewable raw materials to develop new lower fossil carbon-based solutions such as our next generation IP, IPD, and IPDI eCO products, which help to shape a more sustainable future.”

The TORTE project was awarded first prize in the German Chemical Industry Association’s (VCI) "Responsible Care Initiative" for its sustainable and economical use of energy. The judges regarded the initiative in Herne as a benchmark for the holistic sustainable transformation of a chemical site towards green production and environmental protection.

“Optimizing production and reducing emissions by capturing industrial waste heat energy and reusing it, has long been an objective for the chemical industry,” said Dr. Rainer Stahl, Evonik’s Site Manager in Herne. "Making a sustainable contribution to the municipal heat supply in our local community with waste heat can turn the Herne site into a shining example for sustainable chemical production.”

The Herne site comprises 17 production plants spanning over 250,000 square meters. With the ‘Herne Green Deal’ Evonik’s goal is to sustainably transform the production site to achieve climate neutrality. In addition to the TORTE project, the H2annibal project is also in progress to test a new type of electrolysis technology. The goal is to produce green hydrogen which can be used as a renewable starting material for more sustainable isophorone diamine (IPD) production at Herne.

For information about the ‘Herne Green Deal’ and our sustainable production ambitions, please visit here

About Evonik

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €18.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.49 billion in 2022. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable, and sustainable solutions for customers. About 34,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.


The Crosslinkers Business Line offers a broad range of products and competences for coatings and adhesives, as well as for high-performance elastomers and composites. Besides products based on isophorone chemistry the portfolio contains a full toolbox of amine curing agents for ambient and heat cure applications. The products are mainly used in industrial applications due to the mechanical strength, durability, chemical resistance and excellent adhesion properties.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.