EC president von der Leyen praises MACBETH predecessor ROMEO

  • 14/12/2021

On 10 November 2021, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen held a key note speech at the „Evonik Perspektiven“ event. As part of her speech, she spoke about the Chemical industry’s strive to become more sustainable and about the key contribution projects like ROMEO (the predecessor project of MACBETH) can make to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

About the ROMEO project and its significance, von der Leyen said the following (English translation):

“Those who want to see the future of the chemical industry, have to visit you in the Ruhr area. I am thinking, for example, of a project with the beautiful name “ROMEO”.

This is a new type of reactor. Experts from Evonik have developed it together with scientists from Denmark and Germany, and with financial support from the European Union. With ROMEO, aldehydes that can be used as a precursors for medicines of detergents, for example, can be produced in a much more environmentally friendly way than before.

This results in less waste. That is already good. But additionally, the energy input decreases in the manufacture of these important products by up to 80 percent. And that is really impressive.

By now, it is clear to all of us how time is pressing. This summer has made us realize in a painful way that climate change has also reached us.

But there are also encouraging signs. The willingness for more climate protection is growing all over the world.

Many major industrialized nations and regions have issued ambitious climate targets. Examples like ROMEO show that the chemical industry is already on the way to more sustainability. Chemicals are a crucial building block for solar systems plants or for the rotor blades of wind turbines.

But the chemical industry is also a pioneer when it comes to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Since 1990, it has cut its emissions by more than half.

And projects like the ROMEO reactor show how consistently you continue to speed up.

I can only assure you: Europe will give you a tailwind along the way.”