Cefic energy roadmap assesses the long-term potential for CCS in chemical industry

Фото: CEE Bankwatch Network

Publish date: April 24, 2013

Written by: Sirin Engen

Published with support from energy consultancy Ecofys, the paper titled “Unlocking a competitive, low carbon and energy efficient future” explores the chemical industry’s role in light of the EU’s decarbonisation goals in a 2050 perspective.

The paper concludes that deep reductions of chemical industry emissions are technically possible by decarbonisation of the power sector and, in addition, for the 2030–2050 timeframe, by deployment of CCS. However, the authors note, these options are expensive and will require technological breakthroughs.


The commercial viability of CCS applied to emissions from chemical industry depends on the CO2 emissions volume, since all stages (capture, transport and storage) will be cheaper per tonne of captured CO2 with increasing volumes.  The paper assesses ammonia production and steam crackers separately from other chemical products and shows the investment costs of CO2 compression, transport and storage over time.  

In general, the long-term reductions of these investment costs are significant, as CCS is still a first generation technology. With the assumption of worldwide CCS deployment, the costs will go down considerably, the figures show.  This will only be possible if CCS is deployed in many sectors.

This is the working assumption for the scenario where a significant share of CCS uptake is foreseen by the chemical industry. For instance, for ammonia production the costs of CO2 capture and compression from combustion sources could go down by 30% in 2030 and around 60% by 2050 from €300 per tonne of CO2 in 2020.

Apart from CO2 storage the report looks into the possibilities of the use of CO2 as feedstock in the chemical industry and other industries such as:

  • – Enhanced hydrocarbon production (enhanced oil recovery)
  • – In greenhouses (to enhance growth of the plants)
  • – In the food / soft drinks industry
  • – Fuel production industry
  • – As raw material for inorganic materials

Combining the use of biomass with CCS or CCU has not been assessed in this report, but could be an interesting future option to reduce the chemical industry’s GHG impact even more, the authors note.

Read full paper here.

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