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Decarbonisation Scenarios for the Chemical Industry Going Green: Decarbonisation Becomes the Billion-Dollar Chance for Chemicals

Author / Editor: Dominik Stephan* / Dominik Stephan

Is it the end of the oil era? A vision for the decarbonisation of the chemical industry — Chemistry could become almost neutral to climate by 2050, as recent studies show. The price would be, however, enormous: Up to a tenfold of the current investment volume per year had to be pumped into alternative raw materials and process development. Is the dream of green chemicals over before it even began? How realistic is the decoupling of fossil raw materials overall? And what could be done now?

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The chemical industry wants to turn greener: Moving away from the old role of a climate sinner towards a new form of recycling economy — and that with technology, that either already exists or is currently being developed. Doesn’t work? Europe’s leading experts and industry experts see it otherwise. The Dechema, the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in Germany, even spoke of a “leading role” which the branch could play in the decarbonisation scheme of the global economy.

The potential would in fact be enormous: the Chemical industry accounts for at least approximately 19 % of the total energy usage in the EU, making it the largest industrial consumer.