Greenhouse Gas Neutral Chemical Industry

Modeling of future scenarios for a greenhouse gas neutral chemical industry in Germany and Europe


The chemical industry is one of the most energy-intensive and emissions-intensive sectors in Germany and is therefore under high pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This requires a comprehensive switch to renewable sources of raw materials and energy and far-reaching changes in chemical production processes through to entire value chain. This transformation process is afflicted with great technological, but also social uncertainties and is accompanied by massive investment requirements in production facilities and infrastructure.  Sustainably innovative solutions which at the same time help to maintain the economic strength of the chemical industry in Germany and Europe must be identified.

Project description

The project will explore scenarios for a greenhouse gas-neutral chemical industry in Germany and Europe. The aim of the project is to identify transformation paths that contribute to minimizing greenhouse gases in a material- and resource-efficient way. In particular, the importance of collaborative sites will be elaborated and scenarios outlined. The approach and results will be validated with experts and stakeholders from the chemical industry during the project. The project was commissioned by the Berlin-based think tank Agora Industrie.

Our services

To achieve the project objective, the first step is to record the status quo of the European and German chemical industry. In the second step, a qualitative description of possible transformation scenarios is provided. The scenarios include a greenhouse gas-neutral energy supply and a diversification of carbon-based raw materials (e.g. CO2, biomass and plastic waste). Different technology pathways, resource availability and prices are considered in the development of the scenarios. The transformation scenarios thus captured are quantitatively modeled in a third step to identify minimum-cost technology pathways. The qualitative description and quantitative modeling of the transformation paths is carried out in cooperation with the project partner Carbon Minds GmbH.

For the transformation of the chemical industry in Germany, scenarios need to be identified that are, on the one hand, greenhouse gas neutral and sustainable and, on the other hand, meet the societal requirements for strengthening Germany as a chemical location. The project will identify and quantitatively model transformation pathways for the German and European chemical industry that provide the required production volumes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize costs and comply with all technical constraints. For this purpose, the production quantities of the target products, the mass and energy balances as well as emissions of the production technologies, factor prices for inputs and the limitation of resource availability are included as input parameters.

Furthermore, economic employment and value-added effects are considered as well as an analysis of interconnection effects and the impact on upstream and downstream value chains.


Agora Industrie

Project partner

Carbon Minds GmbH

Project duration

1.7.2023 - 30.6.2024

© Agora Industrie
© carbonminds

Center for Economics and Management of Technologies CEM

The Fraunhofer IMW branch office located in Halle (Saale), the Center for Economics and Management of Technologies CEM, complements the portfolio of the Fraunhofer IMW and bundles the competencies of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in the fields of techno-economic and socio-economic research. With this affiliation, Fraunhofer also takes into account the special social significance of structural change in Central Germany.