Lummus Technology : Successfully Navigating Efficiency, Economics, and Environment

Joshua MannLauren Kania
Joshua Mann - Regional Director Lauren Kania - Junior Editor
Highlights
  • Lummus Technologies licenses process technologies in clean fuels, renewables, petrochemicals, polymers, and gas processing, and supplies lifecycle services and products such as catalysts, proprietary equipment, and digital solutions.
  • “Our technologies meet critical energy, industrial, and societal demands, driving economic growth and improving quality of life around the world,” says Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO, Lummus Technology.
  • Lummus Technologies are recognized as best-in-class for their superior performance and the company proudly holds market-leading positions in many areas, such as ethylene, polypropylene, and hydrocracking for clean fuels.

More than just a technology company, Lummus Technology proudly offers customers fully integrated, end-to-end solutions solidified by global expertise and an extensive history. We speak to Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO, to learn more.

SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATING EFFICIENCY, ECONOMICS, AND ENVIRONMENT

Due to the foresight, planning, and entrepreneurial spirit of Walter E. Lummus over 115 years ago, Lummus Technology (Lummus) first came to fruition in Massachusetts with the mission of developing and producing specialized equipment for the process industries.  

Since this initial desire to provide technology solutions and evolve the downstream energy industry, the company has established an extensive history of cutting-edge innovation and unparalleled leadership. 

“We provide technology solutions that empower customers to produce products sustainably and profitably to enhance everyday life,” opens Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO of Lummus. 

More specifically, Lummus licenses process technologies in clean fuels, renewables, petrochemicals, polymers, and gas processing, and supplies lifecycle services and products such as catalysts, proprietary equipment, and digital solutions. 

From those early years, and through many generations of employees and evolutions, there has been one constant – Lummus has always been one of the world’s most innovative technology licensing companies. 

This enduring dedication towards progress and innovation is what inspired de Bruyn to delve into the downstream energy industry after graduating as a chemical engineer from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. 

“It has been an amazing journey, and I am incredibly grateful to have grown alongside the company,” says de Bruyn, whose interest in the industry stems from his upbringing.  

“My parents, both educators, instilled a love for learning and solving complex problems early on. In this industry, that is exactly what we do – develop innovative technology solutions that make a real difference in the world, contributing to modern life in various ways.” 

Having lived in various countries, worked with a variety of colleagues and customers on fascinating projects, and worn many different hats, de Bruyn can proudly attest that Lummus stands apart from the rest in developing and implementing process technologies that make everyday life possible. 

THE INDUSTRY’S MOST COMPLETE PROVIDER

In 2020, Lummus embarked on a bold new chapter. The Chatterjee Group and Rhône Capital purchased Lummus and established it as a standalone company. Previously part of a larger engineering, procurement, and construction company, Lummus is now freed from its prior constraints and better positioned to grow and align with its customers. 

“We first stabilized the business and built the infrastructure and organization capabilities we needed to forge our path forward,” notes de Bruyn. 

Following this, the company rapidly evolved its business strategies and culture, alongside aggressively expanding its portfolio to better position itself to provide customers with the best solutions and outcompete traditional players. 

The results speak for themselves, as Lummus is in a strong position today and poised for continuous growth well into the future. 

Since 2020, Lummus has added many new technologies to its portfolio, with nearly 20 additions in 2023 alone. With its expansion focused on traditional technologies as well as sustainability technology offerings, the company anticipates continuing its rapid growth into 2024 and beyond. 

A portion of the company’s recent growth includes forming a partnership to license high-density polyethylene (HDPE) technology with Texplore, a subsidiary of one of Asia’s largest operators, SCG Chemicals, and acquiring the rights to license and market Air Liquide’s ester-grade acrylic acid technology, using propylene as the main feedstock. 

“These acquisitions and partnerships give Lummus a more complete offering in the specialty high-value polymer market. As a result, we are able to provide customers with tailored, comprehensive, and integrated solutions,” details de Bruyn. 

Additionally, Lummus demonstrated its endless determination and strength throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when the downstream energy sector, like many other industries at the time, faced significant challenges such as a decline in product demand, disrupted supply chains, and volatile market conditions. 

“We were able to adapt rapidly and show our resilience,” states de Bruyn. 

For example, the company accelerated its efforts to decarbonize and invest in cleaner, more sustainable operations and also embraced digital transformation, an area where the industry previously lagged.

Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO, Lummus

“Our technologies meet critical energy, industrial, and societal demands, driving economic growth and improving quality of life around the world”

Leon de Bruyn, President and CEO, Lummus Technology

ILLUMINATING THE WAY

Lummus has established an unparalleled track record of developing and commercializing new technologies, alongside having the industry’s most diverse and comprehensive technology portfolio. Its technologies are recognized as best-in-class for their superior performance and the company proudly holds market-leading positions in many areas, such as ethylene, polypropylene, and hydrocracking for clean fuels. 

Additionally, Lummus continues to ensure its customers’ success and longevity by going beyond technology licensing and offering lifecycle services. This allows the company to integrate its offerings and ensures it remains by the customer throughout the project and during the investment and operating cycles. 

“Our customers trust us to be their partner, guiding them through every phase of their investment’s lifecycle,” emphasizes de Bruyn. 

While maintaining an enduring presence in traditional technologies and solutions, Lummus also places a strong focus on its sustainability offering. This is done by providing innovative, cutting-edge technologies that reduce emissions and improve efficiency by optimizing resource usage and minimizing waste, ultimately helping companies reach their sustainability targets. 

Recently, Lummus has implemented a variety of new initiatives and programs to continue its sustainable practices even further. 

“We have launched ethanol-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology to meet the aviation industry’s growing demand for SAF,” enlightens de Bruyn. 

Lummus also formed a partnership with RWDC Industries to accelerate and scale polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production, which will increase global availability and adoption of natural alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. 

In addition, Lummus is working diligently towards driving sustainable practices, including partnering with NET Power for near-zero emission power plants, and Toshiba for advanced carbon capture solutions, developing VerdeneTM, a bio-polypropylene derived from ethanol, and acquiring Zimpro® water and wastewater treatment technologies from Siemens Energy.   

These examples highlight how Lummus is growing its traditional business while successfully expanding its sustainability offerings, or as de Bruyn often says, “balancing energy efficiency, economic viability, and environmental stewardship.” 

CREATING THE FUTURE

Innovation has always been in Lummus’ DNA, and R&D is part of its innovation ecosystem. 

As a technology company, R&D is very important to Lummus, enabling the company to create new, extended platforms and improve its technologies. 

With four strategically located facilities across the US and Europe that offer advanced R&D, analytical labs, proprietary equipment and catalyst manufacturing, pilot plants, testing and modeling, and other services, the company is able to readily develop, commercialize, and improve its technologies. 

“R&D helps us push boundaries and turn big ideas into real commercial solutions that address the evolving needs of our customers and industry,” details de Bruyn. 

As Lummus continues to look towards the future, not only is further progress in R&D a key priority, but equally as prominent is the company’s growth in key markets and regions.  

One such region is the Middle East, which holds tremendous opportunities for growth and collaboration. As a result, Lummus is strengthening its presence in the Middle East by deepening relationships with customers and building in-country platforms to support the investments of its clients.  

This is directly reflected by the recent relocation of Lummus’ Chief Technology Officer, Ujjal Mukherjee, to Saudi Arabia, where he is expanding his team. His presence, along with the dedicated regional team, signifies Lummus’ commitment to fostering greater knowledge transfer and technological collaboration in a highly active market. 

“We are confident that this strategic focus on the Middle East, combined with our continued dedication to innovation and customer success, will position us for growth in the years to come,” concludes de Bruyn.

LUMMUS TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS

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By Joshua Mann Regional Director
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By Lauren Kania Junior Editor
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Lauren Kania is an in-house writer for EME Outlook Magazine, where she is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.