CO2 emissions accounting for the chemical industry: an empirical analysis for China

  • Jing-Ming Chen
  • Biying YuEmail author
  • Yi-Ming Wei
Original Paper


The chemical industry is one of the most important industry sectors in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in China. However, few studies have undertaken accounting of the CO2 emissions in the chemical industry. In addition, there are some shortcomings in the traditional accounting method as a result of poor data availability, such as the incomplete consideration of emission sources and overestimation of actual emissions. Based on the traditional accounting method and the actual situation of the chemical industry, this study proposes a method called the Emission Accounting Model in the Chemical Industry, which covers fossil energy-related emission, indirect emission generated by electricity and heat, carbonate-related process emission and the reuse of CO2. In particular, fossil energy used as feedstock is included. By applying the Emission Accounting Model in the Chemical Industry in China, the calculated CO2 emissions would be 19–30% less than the result from the traditional method. In addition, it is found that the indirect CO2 emissions generated by electricity and heat account for 67% of the total amount, the fossil energy-related emissions account for approximately 37%, the process-related emissions accounted for 2%, and reuse of CO2 accounts for − 6% in 2016. The production of ammonia, ethylene and calcium carbide generated approximately half of the total CO2 emissions in 2016. In addition, in view of emission sources and carbon source flow, two other bottom-up accounting methods are proposed that can take effect when the chemical plant-level data are available.


CO2 emission EACI model Bottom-up accounting method Chemical industry 



The authors acknowledge the financial support received from the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0602603), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71822401, 71603020, 71521002 and 71642004) and the Joint Development Program of Beijing Municipal Commission of Education. We are also thankful for the support and help provided by CEEP-BIT colleagues.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Energy and Environmental Policy ResearchBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Lab of Energy Economics and Environmental ManagementBeijingChina
  4. 4.Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of BeijingBeijingChina

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