CO₂ Reduction Potential of the Chemical Industry Through CCU (PDF)


In an exploratory scenario, this study investigates the CO emission 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 CO 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 GHG 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 %.

Ferdinand Kähler, Michael Carus, Christopher vom Berg, Matthias Stratmann (all nova-Institute)
Date of publication
May 2022
File type