Potential energy savings in the production route for plastics

E. Worrell, J. G. De Beer, A. P.C. Faaij, K. Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The gross energy requirement (GER) for the major petrochemical products (ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene) and the major bulk polymers (low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyvinylchloride) is determined. The GER-values for LDPE, PP, PS and PVC are 69.8, 61.6, 81.5 and 55.7 GJ/ton, respectively. The potential energy saving in the process chain for each product is assessed on the basis of commercially available technologies. The profitable potential, savings (i.e. with a payback period shorter than 3 yr) is about 8% of the GER-figure. The technical potential for savings varies from 12% for ethylene to 25% for PVC. In addition, the potential savings are investigated for the industrial sectors involved, namely oil refining (15% of total primary energy demand), inorganic chemicals (6%) and petrochemicals (9%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1085
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical industry
  • Energy conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy requirement
  • Plastics


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