In this study, a bottom-up technology assessment model is constructed and applied to evaluate potential changes in the cradle-to-gate primary energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of U.S. ethylene production in the future. Three chemical pathways are modeled: conventional natural gas to ethylene, shale gas to ethylene, and crude-oil-based naphtha to ethylene. State-of-the-art technology and five emerging technologies for the production of ethylene from natural gas are evaluated at the process and national levels. The results quantify the primary energy and GHG emissions reductions achievable with state-of-the-art and emerging technologies, highlight the key parameters influencing their reduction potentials, and shed light on the implications of possible feedstock and technology shifts for U.S. ethylene production over the next several decades. The generalized and flexible modeling framework presented can be further used by energy, policy, and environmental analysts for assessing the savings potential of different technologies, making decisions in research and development investment, and strategic planning for meeting energy and emissions reduction goals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering