PEP Review 2007-15
Estimating the Carbon Footprint of the Worldwide Chemical Industry
In recent years, there has been a growing urgency to curb greenhouse gas emissions. While all possible solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are being explored, the chemical industry has been a major focus of many international environmental organizations. The opportunities available for emissions reductions in the chemical industry are numerous, but the exact amount by which emissions reductions could theoretically be made is unknown.
To help answer this question SRIC has prepared an estimate of the carbon footprint of the worldwide chemical industry. 71 major chemical products were examined covering over 95% of emissions from this sector. Production volume data from SRIC’s Chemical Economics Handbook and World Petrochemicals Program were combined with emissions factors from the Greenhouse Gases Handbook to calculate the carbon footprint of each product. In addition, estimates were broken down into direct emissions (those occurring at the plant site) and indirect emissions (those due to remotely located electrical generation).