Introduction

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Production systems that are CO2-neutral are currently fiction. In 2004, the process industry emitted directly about 9.7Gton CO2 , whereas the chemical and petrochemical industry accounted for around 1.5 Gton CO2. On the basis of feedstock and feedstock including process energy, 7.9 and 12.7% of total global energy consumption is accounted for, respectively [ 1, 2], These emissions are incurred at two stages along the process chain; firstly, during feedstock acquisition and secondly, within the utilities needed to provide process energy (see Chapter 10). More than half of the cumulative energy demand (CED) is for feedstock use, which cannot be reduced by attempts to increase energy efficiency, but only by feedstock and process change. Materials, fuels and energy derived from fossil sources will continue to dominate most process industries in the near future, despite the recent progress made in renewable energy systems and the growing use of bio-based materials and fuels. The fact is, however, that an increasing energy generation efficiency and sustainability (i.e., wind, solar, biomass, etc.), feedstock optimization and efficient production technologies, such as biotechnology, can contribute to reducing the CO2 intensity of the chemical industry. With current best practice in commercial technologies, savings from 370 to 470Mton CO2 per year are already possible for the chemical industry [ 1], However, renewable feedstocks may appear to be carbon neutral, but as will be explained, are not, due to energy intense agricultural and logistical aspects. It will remain a question of optimization between conventional fossil fuel feedstocks and biomass-based feedstock alternatives to reduce the overall CO2 intensity of the chemical industry.

Managing CO2 Emissions in the Chemical Industry. Edited by Leimkuhler © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim ISBN: 978-3-527-32659-4

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