The German chemical industry requires about 15 million tons of carbon annually to produce goods ranging from plastics, adhesives, lubricants to cosmetics. This demand is largely met by imported crude oil and natural gas. The chemical industry’s carbon demand – unlike sectors such as energy and mobility – cannot be easily replaced by carbon-free substances or technologies.
A circular carbon economy will enable the chemical industry to develop a sustainable basis for its raw material supply. Carbon will remain in the system instead of being released for example as CO2 into the environment which contributes to climate change and global warming. To achieve this, the recycling and recirculation of secondary carbon raw materials are crucial factors. The communication platform for a circular carbon economy (NK2) thus paves the way for such a carbon transition.
»With NK2 we want to establish a platform for information and knowledge exchanges as well as intersectoral and international networking. We are convinced that a circular carbon economy not only offers considerable advantages for climate protection, but also great potential for added value in Germany«, says Prof. Dr. Bernd Meyer, Division Head for Chemical Conversion Processes at the Fraunhofer IMWS and Director of the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, who is the scientific lead for NK2 activities.