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The ever-increasing global demand for resources with a much lower carbon footprint is pushing industry leaders to reduce emissions and extract efficiency from existing systems. For example, as a bellwether of the chemicals industry, ethylene producers are starting to address their sustainability challenges by incorporating CO2 emissions data into their production plans. More specifically, by modeling CO2 emissions when planning, ethylene producers can predict and optimize emissions under various market conditions, regulatory environments, and operating modes.
With a CO2 emissions reduction case study, this presentation focuses on the potential to decrease CO2 emissions significantly (e.g., 5-10%) without affecting production levels by using common operational degrees of freedom, like cracking severity. Of course, some steps will be “cheaper” than others and the optimal order will depend on the specific constraints and flexibility of each ethylene plant and the owner operator’s carbon reduction goals. Nonetheless, this presentation suggests there are steps that the olefins industry can take now with its existing assets to reduce CO2 emissions, leveraging the use of economic planning models with integrated CO2 emissions structures to explore the possibilities and trade-offs.