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Realizing negative emissions in industrial transformation

Technical options and system analysis on life cycle emissions and economic performance
PhD ceremony:F. Yang
When:February 21, 2023
Supervisor:prof. dr. A.P.C. (André) Faaij
Co-supervisor:dr. ir. J.C. (Hans) Meerman
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering

According to the Paris Agreement, climate change must be kept below 2°C, ideally below 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. The remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C is 420 Gt CO2eq. However, all transition trajectories examined in IPCC and ETC reports show an excess before 2050. In most countries, the industrial sector is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, as this sector contributes not only with its direct process emissions, but also with its energy-related emissions. To achieve the climate target, a far-reaching decarbonization of the industrial sector is therefore urgently required.

China is the world's largest producer of industrial goods by value added. Therefore, Chinese industry plays a prominent role in a low-carbon or even climate-neutral future. The application of decarbonization technologies and exploring transition pathways for the decarbonization of the industry is crucial for reducing energy consumption, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. However, these transition trajectories are incomplete because they do not include the spatial and temporal aspects of energy sources and raw materials.

This thesis aims to investigate the possibilities of biomass combined with  CO2  capture and storage (BECCS) and the outlook for BECCS options in the industry up to 2050. The potential role of BECCS systems in different industrial sectors and the low-carbon transition pathway for China’s steel industry are quantified by GHG emissions, the techno-economic performance and/or the geographical distribution of the resources.