C-THRU exists to bring greater clarity, transparency, and breadth to our understanding of emissions from the petrochemical sector. Here, in six ‘deep dives’, we showcase the work the team has been doing to shed light on where emissions are released throughout the life cycles of chemical products, the actions we can take to reduce them, and the knock-on effects for other processes within and beyond the industry.
The Critical Review sets out the current state of knowledge about emissions from the global petrochemical supply chain. We identify six key gaps in data reporting and analysis that must be filled if effective actions to reduce emissions are to be taken. The Critical Review then sets out our strategy for filling these data gaps and producing the most complete and transparent picture of petrochemical sector emissions to date.
Our world could not function without plastic, synthetic textiles, and their derivatives. The petrochemical sector is accountable for a third of industrial energy use and almost a fifth of global industrial CO2 emissions. Demand for chemicals is expected to double by 2050, which will place even further strain on the environment.
C-THRU is a 3-year, US$4m, international research project which aims to deliver carbon clarity for the global petrochemical sector. The team, led by Professor Jonathan Cullen, will explore options for reducing the sector’s pressure on the environment.
This ambitious goal will be achieved by collating the world’s most comprehensive, reliable, and transparent account of current and future emissions from the petrochemical sector. Such an account does not yet exist. This is largely because the chemical processes and supply chains involved are so complex and because data reporting on emissions has not been internationally consistent or transparent.
The models underlying the account will be used to explore how future interventions and innovations could minimise greenhouse gas emissions. The research will support strategic policy and business decision-making to promote the sustainability of the petrochemical sector, making it compatible with climate change mitigation goals.