Catalysis is an important source of technology-based efficiency improvement potential
The chemical industry is a large energy user; but chemical products and technologies also are used in a wide array of energy saving and/or renewable energy applications so the industry has also an energy saving role. The chemical and petrochemical sector is by far the largest industrial energy user, accounting for roughly 10% of total worldwide industrial final energy demand and 7% of global industrial GHG emissions.
The reducing energy use and GHG emissions in the chemical sector highly depends on catalytic processes. Around 90% of chemical processes use catalysts for efficient production. Catalysis is an important source of technology-based efficiency improvement potential; indeed, the Technology Roadmap “Energy and GHG Reductions in the Chemical Industry via Catalytic Processes” shows an energy savings potential approaching 13 exajoules (EJ) by 2050 – equivalent to the current annual primary energy use of Germany.
Industry can provide the focus on top opportunities, highlight priorities for support, accelerate both capital investments and research and development (R&D), and prompt further focused collaborations with academia and research institutions on these industrially relevant challenges.