Low-carbon roadmap of chemical production: A case study of ethylene in China

Zhao, Z, Chong, K, Jiang, J, Wilson, K, Zhang, X and Wang, F 2018, 'Low-carbon roadmap of chemical production: A case study of ethylene in China', Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 97, pp. 580-591.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Low-carbon roadmap of chemical production: A case study of ethylene in China
Author(s) Zhao, Z
Chong, K
Jiang, J
Wilson, K
Zhang, X
Wang, F
Year 2018
Journal name Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume number 97
Start page 580
End page 591
Total pages 12
Publisher Pergamom Press
Abstract The increasing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) are primarily driven by the rapid expansion of energy-intensive sectors such as the chemical industry. This work selects ethylene, one of the most important chemicals, as a model study to represent the low-carbon roadmap of chemical production. Four strategies improving the efficiency of fossil resource usage, developing the technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS), CO 2 chemical conversion, and converting biomass resources into chemicals, are used to reduce CO 2 emissions. A comprehensive analysis of the life cycle CO 2 emissions of different ethylene production routes has been performed to compare their emission reduction potential. The results indicate that the BMTO (biomass to olefins via methanol-to-olefins) pathway releases the least CO 2 (- 1.3 t CO 2 /t ethylene), while the CFTO (coal to olefins via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) possesses the highest CO 2 emissions. Combining CCS with BMTO results in CO 2 emissions of - 8.2 t per t ethylene. Furthermore, we analysed the annual production and CO 2 emissions of ethylene in the last 17 years and integrated this real-time change with different pathways. The CO 2 emissions have decreased by 29.4% per t ethylene from 2000 to 2016 in China. However, the total amount of CO 2 emissions continuously increases in ethylene production industry. Given that China has promised to hit peak CO 2 emissions by 2030, a scenario analysis was performed. To achieve this goal, the ratios of BMTO, CO2MTO (CO 2 to olefins via methanol-to-olefins) or BETE (ethanol to ethylene pathway originating from biomass) pathways should increase by 1.0%, 1.2% and 1.1% annually from 2020, respectively. Then more than 500 million metric tons of CO 2 will be eliminated from 2020 to 2040. The results highlight the pivotal role that regulation and policy administration can play in controlling CO 2 emissions by increasing average technological level and turning to low-carbon rout
Subject Catalysis and Mechanisms of Reactions
Catalytic Process Engineering
Keyword(s) Biomass
CO emissions 2
Ethylene
Life cycle assessment
Methanol-to-olefins
Scenario analysis
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.rser.2018.08.008
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier
ISSN 1364-0321
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