Energy use and energy intensity of the U.S. chemical industry

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The U.S. chemical industry is the largest in the world, and responsible for about 11% of the U.S. industrial production measured as value added. It consumes approximately 20% of total industrial energy consumption in the U.S. (1994), and contributes in similar proportions to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Surprisingly, there is not much information on energy use and energy intensity in the chemical industry available in the public domain. This report provides detailed information on energy use and energy intensity for the major groups of energy-intensive chemical products. Ethylene production is the major product in terms of production volume of the ... continued below

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40 pages

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Worrell, E.; Phylipsen, D.; Einstein, D. & Martin, N. April 1, 2000.

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The U.S. chemical industry is the largest in the world, and responsible for about 11% of the U.S. industrial production measured as value added. It consumes approximately 20% of total industrial energy consumption in the U.S. (1994), and contributes in similar proportions to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Surprisingly, there is not much information on energy use and energy intensity in the chemical industry available in the public domain. This report provides detailed information on energy use and energy intensity for the major groups of energy-intensive chemical products. Ethylene production is the major product in terms of production volume of the petrochemical industry. The petrochemical industry (SIC 2869) produces a wide variety of products. However, most energy is used for a small number of intermediate compounds, of which ethylene is the most important one. Based on a detailed assessment we estimate fuel use for ethylene manufacture at 520 PJ (LHV), excluding feedstock use. Energy intensity is estimated at 26 GJ/tonne ethylene (LHV), excluding feedstocks.The nitrogenous fertilizer production is a very energy intensive industry, producing a variety of fertilizers and other nitrogen-compounds. Ammonia is the most important intermediate chemical compound, used as basis for almost all products. Fuel use is estimated at 268 PJ (excluding feedstocks) while 368 PJ natural gas is used as feedstock. Electricity consumption is estimated at 14 PJ. We estimate the energy intensity of ammonia manufacture at 39.3 GJ/tonne (including feedstocks, HHV) and 140 kWh/tonne, resulting in a specific primary energy consumption of 40.9 GJ/tonne (HHV), equivalent to 37.1 GJ/tonne (LHV). Excluding natural gas use for feedstocks the primary energy consumption is estimated at 16.7 GJ/tonne (LHV). The third most important product from an energy perspective is the production of chlorine and caustic soda. Chlorine is produced through electrolysis of a salt-solution. Chlorine production is the main electricity consuming process in the chemical industry, next to oxygen and nitrogen production. We estimate final electricity use at 173 PJ (48 TWh) and fuel use of 38 PJ. Total primary energy consumption is estimated at 526 PJ (including credits for hydrogen export). The energy intensity is estimated at an electricity consumption of 4380 kWh/tonne chlorine and fuel consumption of 3.45 GJ/tonne chlorine, where all energy use is allocated to chlorine production. Assuming an average power generation efficiency of 33% the primary energy consumption is estimated at 47.8 GJ/tonne chlorine (allocating all energy use to chlorine).

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40 pages

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OSTI as DE00773773

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Apr 2000

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  • Report No.: LBNL--44314
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/773773 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 773773
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc715392

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • April 1, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 3:20 p.m.

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Worrell, E.; Phylipsen, D.; Einstein, D. & Martin, N. Energy use and energy intensity of the U.S. chemical industry, report, April 1, 2000; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc715392/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.