Greener pathways for energy-intensive commodity chemicals: Opportunities and challenges

Yuan Yao, Diane Graziano, Matthew Riddle, Joe Cresko, Eric Masanet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The chemical industry is poised for significant growth and investment, which presents an opportunity for adoption of greener chemical technologies. This article reviews available and emerging technologies for reducing the fossil fuel demand associated with the ammonia, ethylene, methanol, propylene, and benzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTX) industries. These few energy-intensive commodity chemicals (EICCs) account for around half of the energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the global chemical industry. Available data are harmonized to characterize potential energy use and GHG emissions savings, while technical and economic barriers to adoption are discussed. This information sheds light on the status of future technological options for reducing the impacts of the chemicals industry, and provides quantitative data to industry analysts and policy makers seeking a greater understanding of such options for EICCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-98
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)


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