Industrial

Industrial Sector

May 7, 2012, 6:34 pm
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Industrial greenhouse gas emissions in carbon equivalents. The upper line for an industry assumes high emissions per unit product and the A1 scenario for future emissions, whereas the lower line assumes low emissions per unit product and the B2 scenario.

Industrial emissions of greenhouse gases, if one includes emissions from electricity and steam generated off-site, amount to about 3.3 Gt (3.3 × 1012 g) carbon equivalents per year. [1] Industries with the highest emissions are metal smelting, especially steel, iron, and aluminum; extraction and refining of petroleum; cement manufacture; pulp and paper processing; industrial nitrogen fixation to generate ammonia; and synthesis of ethylene, a precursor of many plastics.

As the human population and per capita income have grown, so has production of industrial goods. Since 1980, global annual production of steel has increased by 84%; petroleum by 40%; cement by 271%; paper by 180%; ammonia by 200%; aluminum by 223%; and ethylene by 194%. [2] The industrial sector, however, has not expanded as quickly as some other sectors (e.g. transportation), and its share of global greenhouse gas emissions actually declined, from 40% in 1971 to 37% in 2004. [3]

Many heavy industries have relocated from developed countries to developing ones such as China and India. Indeed, industrial greenhouse gas emissions from China and India rose from 12% of the world’s total in 1971 to 42% in 2004. [4] Because expected lifetimes of manufacturing equipment, power lines and pipelines, and power stations range from 10 years to 50 years, industrial facilities now under construction in China and India will influence emissions for decades to come. Over 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions from industry are energy related, yet energy efficiencies of most industrial processes are less than half of what is theoretically achievable (International Energy Agency 2006a). Increasing the energy efficiencies of the industrial sector thus presents an excellent opportunity to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as to save money. Strategies for increasing energy efficiencies include upgrading equipment, optimizing operating procedures, improving equipment maintenance, and enhancing the degree to which equipment runs at near capacity.

[1] Bernstein, L., J. Roy, K. C. Delhotal, J. Harnisch, R. Matsuhashi, L. Price, K. Tanaka, E. Worrell, F. Yamba, and Z. Fengqi (2007) Industry. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Metz, B., O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, and L. A. Meyer, eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 447-496.

[2] Price, L., S. de la Rue du Can, J. Sinton, E. Worrell, Z. Nan, J. Sathaye, and M. Levine (2006) Sectoral Trends in Global Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, http://ies.lbl.gov/iespubs/56144.pdf.

[3] Bernstein, L., J. Roy, K. C. Delhotal, J. Harnisch, R. Matsuhashi, L. Price, K. Tanaka, E. Worrell, F. Yamba, and Z. Fengqi (2007) Industry. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Metz, B., O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, and L. A. Meyer, eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 447-496.

[4] Price, L., S. de la Rue du Can, J. Sinton, E. Worrell, Z. Nan, J. Sathaye, and M. Levine (2006) Sectoral Trends in Global Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, http://ies.lbl.gov/iespubs/56144.pdf.

This is an excerpt from the book Global Climate Change: Convergence of Disciplines by Dr. Arnold J. Bloom and taken from UCVerse of the University of California.

©2010 Sinauer Associates and UC Regents

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Bloom, A. (2012). Industrial Sector. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/51cbf0387896bb431f6a0bf2

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