Study shows CO2 reduction potential of CCU for chemical industry

May 4, 2022 |

In Germany, the Renewable Carbon Initiative, CO2 Value Europe and nova-Institute have published a study showing the CO2 reduction potential of the chemical industry through carbon capture and utilization. 

In an exploratory scenario, the study “CO2 reduction potential of the chemical industry through CCU” investigates the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that can be achieved in the global chemical and derived material industries if the entire demand for embedded carbon is met solely and exclusively via CO2 instead of from fossil sources. Major simplifications are used to achieve transparency and comprehensibility of the issue. Methanol (CH3OH) is considered to cover the needs for hydrocarbons for chemicals and derived materials among the various chemical intermediates as a representative pathway for renewable carbon. It is a plausible scenario to assign methanol a central role in supplying the chemical industry of the future.

The examined CCU-based production route includes CO2 capture as a mix of direct air capture (DAC) and capture from different point sources, hydrogen supply and the hydrogenation reaction for methanol synthesis. The GHG emissions related to CCU-based methanol synthesis depend on the emissions of the renewable energy production. Emissions of CCU-based methanol could be 67 to 77% lower compared to emissions from releasing embedded carbon of fossil fuels, when using current energy supply based on photovoltaics. With improvements in renewable energy production, the reduction could increase to levels between 96 and 100%.

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Category: Research

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