The chemical industry, including the petrochemical industry, supplies essential starting products for other branches of industries, e.g. for the plastics industry, the automotive and engineering industry, the construction and building materials industries, and for the food industries. Among the starting products are organic and inorganic precursors and chemicals, fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, plastics, pharmaceuticals and a broad range of additional products.
Energy-intensive production processes (e.g. steam reforming, steam cracking, chloralkali process) and the high share of fossil raw materials (primarily crude oil and natural gas) render the chemical industry largely responsible for a considerable share of the overall anthropogenic environmental impacts.
ifeu prepares detailed analyses of environmental impacts of production processes of the (petro-) chemical industries, including either all relevant subsequent processing and life stages of products (cradle-to-grave approach), or with a special focus on the processing chain (cradle-to-gate, see eco-profiles). Our approaches are based on many years of experience with the topic, long-standing cooperation links with industry partners and detailed mathematical modelling of processes (e.g. crude oil and natural extraction, refinery model).