Main sources are sun, wind, biomass and water. This translates at Sioen into products for green energy generation.
Sioen is already producing technical textiles for biogas container liners and covers, the cultivation of seaweed and for windmills. Coated fabrics can have many functions here, for reusable packaging, air filtration and huge ventilation hoses for air cooling the transformers and rectifiers inside the windmill a.o. The Apparel Division manufactures protective clothing for those working in and around power stations, or in explosion risk environments. This fast-growing market is one of our top priorities. We want to quickly and efficiently develop new products that will further strengthen our position here.
SUN The sun is the basis of every green energy source we know: the sun makes the wind blow, makes plants and trees grow, keeps the water cycle moving for hydropower, warms the soil, air and water. Photovoltaic panels convert light into electricity. Integrated in technical textiles, this has many future applications.
WIND Wind energy is the electrical energy that a wind turbine can generate from wind. The current generation of 3M Watt installations reach a height of around 120m, with 68m blades. Wind turbine towers are getting higher, because wind speed increases with height. Each wind turbine uses 1500m² of cloth. In addition, the powerpipes have to be reinfored and attached to the bottom of the sea. This can be done with highly technical textiles.
BIO Plants and trees are a kind of natural battery that stores solar energy. This they release in particular in the form of heat, when burned, fermented or gassed. Biomass also exists in other forms: biogas, green waste, wood waste, animal waste, manure, sludge ... There is a constant renewed supply and for this reason we speak of a renewable energy source. Sioen is in constant search for solutions in this field and works on many projects on this subject.
WATER Hydropower is the electrical energy that a turbine can produce from flowing or falling water. In a hydroelectric generating station water is used to turn a turbine. Our technical textiles could offer some answers here.
Producing green energy is a global priority. At Sioen too. The single most important theme in our existing market (technical textiles for biogas containers and wind turbines) is sustainability. Again our R&D efforts are fully aligned on these goals. How do we make the technical textiles for this application stronger, lighter and longer-lasting? These are the questions our experts are examining.
We are developing a number of completely new products such as technical textiles for bio and fog harvesting. The newest developments in bioharvesting are integrating manure control in development or catastrophes areas in combination with direct bioenergy production. Intelligent application of the high potentials of technical textiles with our engineering also leads to totally innovative products in biofuel generation. Possibilities as the unique application of phosphor in biomers generation resulting both in bioenergy but also valuable chemistry niches, drugs or food additives, medicines. The unique application of offshore bio generation such as displayed in our turnkey seaweed farming project are to be found in both bioenergy and in drugs or food additives.
We are producing technical protective clothing for people who come into contact with electricity in any way. Flame retardant and antistatic trousers and jackets and clothing that protects the wearer against electric arcs are part of our range. We will also be focusing on clothing for explosive atmospheres.