Prospective Energy Analysis of Emerging Technology Options for the United States Ethylene Industry

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3493-3505
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 30 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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