WS1 Critical review
Background: GHG emissions data for the petrochemical manufacturing sector are disparate across petrochemical sectors and world regions, and existing data are frequently impossible to compare. This results from different system boundaries, practices and legal frameworks for reporting emissions data and footprint indicators.
Proposal: We aim to provide an informed view of the accuracy and comprehensiveness of emissions data and monitoring regimes, across petrochemical sectors. The review will assess emissions and environmental impacts from all stages of the lifecycle of petrochemical products: chemical production, product manufacture, use and end-of-life treatment.
Methodology: This workstream is divided into quantitative and qualitative parts:
– WS1(a) will perform a quantitative review of emissions data from across petrochemical sectors and world regions. All disparate emissions data will be assembled and reported in a single place and subject to the same system boundaries to enable comparison and to remove methodological bias. This assembly will be used to assess the data coverage and uncertainty of emissions monitoring schemes. across different chemical products and between regions and will be extended to understand other environmental impacts such as plastic waste, eutrophication, non-GHG emissions.
– WS1(b) will undertake a qualitative review of monitoring standards and disclosure requirements to give an informed view on the accuracy and comprehensiveness of compliance and auditing requirements.
– Uncertainty, across both parts, will be characterised across four dimensions: unreliable data from systematic bias (e.g. certain categories are not reported, or misreported); lack of knowledge about operations (e.g. plant characteristics, scale of production, end-of-life choices); changes over time (e.g. data becomes out of date in rapidly growing regions); inherent variability due to regional and process disaggregation.
Deliverables: We will provide data and analysis of GHG emissions and environmental impacts associated with each stage of the lifecycle of chemical products: production, manufacturing of products, use-phase and end-of-life treatment. The review will be used to identify knowledge gaps in the current direct measurement regimes. The knowledge and learning attained will feed into the WS2 data model and be used in WS3–5. The review, data and knowledge gaps will be written up in an academic paper and a widely distributed report (at end of year 1).