Denmark takes the top position on the EU28 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard for 2015: This an improvement in ranking compared to previous years which already showed good performance with a second position in 2014 and fourth position in 2013 and never ranked lower than fourth since 2010. In terms of eco-innovation output, compared to 2013 Denmark slides down the ranking from first place to fourth in the Scoreboard, while on the other hand Denmark moves up from a fourth place to the first spot in terms of eco-innovation input, which is also Denmark’s best performing indices. The country does not manage to translate the high eco-innovation output into a higher socio-economic output, where it is below EU average.

Denmark has been promoting eco-innovation since 2006, when thr Danish Parliament requested the Danish Government to launch the first eco-innovation scheme, underpinned by a comprehensive policy framework in support of activities and initiatives in favour of the environment and combating climate change. After the Danish Local Government Reform in 2007 created five completely new regions in Denmark, green growth initiatives got off due to the synergy effects that the reform offered. Industrial symbiosis and public procurement are two areas that seem particularly to have benefitted from this. However, the new Danish Government (June 2015) has taken a more market oriented approach to green transition with the view that enterprises will implement green business models without the need of comprehensive state support, hence some drastic cuts have been proposed and taken place that will affect circular economy developments. In view of this, the latest Scoreboard results are a result of the work of previous governments and it needs to be seen how the latest policy developments will affect Denmark’s result in the future.

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Denmark




Topsøe Wet gas sulphuric acid - WSA - technology

Topsoe’s Wet gas Sulphuric Acid technology (WSA) recovers sulphur from off-gases and produces commercial-grade concentrated sulphuric acid. It is also used to regenerate spent sulphuric acid and to produce sulphuric acid from elemental sulphur.
The WSA technology fulfills clients’ requirements for compliance with sulphur emission standards:
- producing no undesired by-products, efficient heat recovery, flexibility and simplicity, low capital and operating expenses
Topsoe designs the WSA plant to meet each client's specific needs. The projects are defined and executed in close collaboration with the clients and their contractors.
The WSA technology uses Topsoe's unique VK-W of catalysts. 

The WSA process includes a number of features:
 - ability to process feeds containing critical compounds such as SO3, NH3, CO2, HCN and  hydrocarbons 
- simultaneous treatment of many sulfur-containing streams 
- simple process scheme with only a few pieces of equipment 
- no waste by-product is produced. 
- efficient heat recovery and maximum export of superheated steam at desired pressure 
- very low consumption of cooling water
- easy to combine with SCR for NOx removal

The WSA process is a wet gas catalytic process where the concentrated sulphuric acid is produced by condensation from a wet process gas. As the process gas is not dried prior to treatment in a WSA plant, generation of waste water and loss of sulphur is avoided.

The first process step produces an SO2 gas at the operating temperature of the oxidation catalyst in the SO2 converter. The catalytic conversion of SO2 to SO3 takes place in one or more beds of catalyst from Topsoe's VK-W series. Reaction heat is recovered between the catalyst beds by production and superheating of steam. After the last conversion step the gas is cooled and the SO3 reacts with water vapour to form gas phase sulphuric acid.

The process gas is cooled by a counter current flow of air in the proprietary WSA condenser. Hot air generated in the WSA condenser may be used as preheated combustion air or just to preheat the feed gases in order to ensure optimal energy efficiency.

The WSA condenser
The design of the WSA condenser allows controlled cooling of the process gas and condensation of the sulphuric acid without formation of acid mist. The vertical glass tubes, the brick-lined bottom section and the coated tube-plates of the condenser are designed for long service life and avoidance of corrosion.

The VK-W catalyst series
Another important element of the WSA process is the proprietary Topsoe catalysts - the VK-W series - developed for the conversion of SO2 into SO3 in the presence of water vapour. The catalysts feature high activity and stability.

Barriers and Drivers

Barriers: Is there a need for sulphuric acid in the vicinity? If not, some other technology with poorer energy efficiency may be applied.
Drivers: High degree of energy efficiency; low consumption of cooling water; no consumption of process water; no generation of waste.

Economic Performance

The WSA technology is the most economic way to dispose of sulphurous waste gases. No precise figures can be given, since these vary from case to case. For more specific information, please see the link for the business case of the WSA technology:

Environmental Impact

The WSA technology can be designed to any required emission standards and it does not generate secondary pollution. The WSA and SNOXTM processes are simple and efficient sulphur recovery processes which meet the demands of the industry for environmental compliance, low energy usage, and low overall operating costs. Sulphur in any form is recovered as concentrated sulphuric acid of commercial quality. The WSA technology can be applied for a variety of process streams, ranging from flue gases to concentrated H2S gases as well as for elemental sulphur and various sulphur containing liquid waste materials.

Further Information

For more information please visit the homepage of Haldor Topsoe:

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