03/01/2024 | Forschung

Analysis of petrochemical clusters in Germany - Article in Journal of Business Chemistry

German petrochemical clusters are facing massive transformation tasks. The challenges vary greatly depending on the cluster and location. Despite many ongoing activities, none of the clusters appear to have a strategic network in place to jointly develop a customized defossilization strategy.

The map shows the petrochemical sites in Germany and the pipeline infrastructure

In a recently published research article, a team of authors including researchers from the Wuppertal Institute and the section Sustainable Technology Design at the University of Kassel analyses three petrochemical clusters in Germany with regard to the defossilization of their production chains. Today's product portfolios are based on fossil raw materials and the corresponding plants. Crude oil and its derivatives must be replaced with a view to a circular production method. This results in supply requirements for renewable raw materials or waste and the associated infrastructure requirements. On the other hand, investments must be made in new plants, which, however, also entail new product yields. As the production chains are often organized on a cross-takeover basis, complex governance tasks arise. The existing regional platforms and networks have not yet been able to initiate a regional roadmapping process. Such a process could increase the commitment to the transformation and give local companies sufficient security to scale up new plants beyond the pilot scale.

Link to the article, published in issue 1/2024 of the Journal of Business Chemistry: Structural analysis of petrochemical clusters in Germany: What can be learned for the transformation towards climateneutrality?

The article was written as part of the BMWK-funded GreenFeed project. Link to the GreenFeed project website of the Wuppertal Institute.