Decarbonizing the chemical industry: A systematic review of sociotechnical systems, technological innovations, and policy options

Changwoo Chung, Jinsoo Kim, Benjamin K.Sovacool, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Minyoung Yang write about how chemicals, essential materials for modern life, emit substantial greenhouse gases during production and use. Like the other carbon-intensive industries, the chemical industry is a complex and diverse industry to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonizing the chemical industry is critical to overcoming the climate crisis and building a sustainable and vibrant future. We conducted a comprehensive and systematic review screening more than 5.6 million articles and thoroughly analyzing a shortlist of 246 studies about the decarbonization innovations of the chemical industry. Based on the review results, we identified the sociotechnical system of the industry into four groups: raw materials, chemical making processes, chemical product making and usage, and waste management and recycling.   January 23, 2023.