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The chemical industry is using more and more renewable carbon; 20 to 25% of the carbon stock is already renewable. Approximately 15% of this comes from biomass.
Editorial office / Cologne

This is shown by a survey by the nova Institute (Germany) and COWI (Denmark) among the largest chemical companies that produce in Europe.

The share of renewable carbon appears to differ greatly per company:

  • 1..5% for traditional petrochemical companies
  • 80-90% for wood-based chemical companies
  • 40-50% for oleochemical companies (with focus on vegetable oils and animal fats)

Also remarkable is that a small group of petrochemical companies that in the past had renewable carbon shares of less than 1%, is now using around 20%.

In addition to carbon from fossil raw materials, the chemical industry nowadays increasingly uses carbon from alternative sources: biomass, CO2 and recycled raw materials. Biomass is most often used (around 15%), the share of recycling (5..10%) is increasing and the use of captured or stored CO2 is becoming increasingly important.

Most chemical companies have already developed or are developing concepts and strategies to further increase the share of renewable carbon in their production.

Image: industryviews/Shutterstock