Sector-based Material Flow Analysis The Petrochemical Industry in

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        Sector-based Material Flow Analysis: The Petrochemical Industry in Japan
                                                Helmut Yabar and Tohru Morioka*

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                             Osaka University Research Institute for Sustainability Science (RISS)
                                    Center for Advanced Science and Innovation (CASI), 6F
                                        2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan                14 point Boldface
           * Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka
                                        2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

                  Keywords: Material Flow Analysis, Resource Productivity, Petrochemical Industry, Integral Approach

                   Our understanding of the societal metabolism is fundamental to achieve a sustainability transition.
                                                                                             Center this area
        Material flow analysis (MFA) and sustainable resource management can support this transition by helping us
        secure the physical basis of societies and economies in the long term. This paper addresses the possibility to
        streamline the petrochemical sector by resource management including options such as alternative feedstocks,
        production improvement and end of life strategies. The strategy design stands on the use of MFA as a powerful
        tool to identify the main problems and constrains along the supply chain of the sector while looking for viable
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        alternatives to overcome these constrains. The scenario design is based on the analysis of the main factors that
        influence the sector: market conditions, domestic environmental policies and international agreements, and
        physical and technological capacities along the supply chain. The results show that the application of end of life
        strategies alone only lessens one problem of the industry in Japan, namely landfill space scarcity. The integral
        approach, on the other hand, leads us the way towards a sustainable industry by improving the resource
        productivity of the sector and reducing the CO2 emissions. At the same time it reduces the Japanese dependency
        on imported oil.

                         INTRODUCTION                            global climate.
                   The petrochemical industry is the most                    The main research questions of this study
        complex and most important industry sector with          are to determine:
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        regard to non-energy use of fossil fuels. It basically
        converts fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) and                To what extent it is possible to improve the end
        biomass carbon into synthetic organic products.
                                                                                                     10 point
                                                                       of life strategies of the petrochemical sector
        These products can be split into energy carriers and           based on current situation
        petrochemical products including plastics, synthetic           To what extent it is possible to sustain the
        fibers, elastomers, solvents, resins, lubricants, and          sector by streamlined resources management,
25 mm   detergents.                                                    including alternative feedstocks, production
                   The petrochemical industry is mostly                improvement and material and energy recovery          25 mm
        based on oil and gas derived feedstocks (naphtha, gas
        oil, LPG, ethane and aromatic fractions). The steam        STRATEGIES TO CLOSE THE LOOP IN THE
        cracking of these feedstocks is the basis for almost all             PETROCHEMICAL SECTOR
        petrochemical products. The fact that the
        petrochemical industry is fossil fuel based makes it                 The continuous fluctuations of oil price
        especially important. The reason is that along with      and the fact that it is a non renewable resource as
        dematerialization, one of the most intensively           well as the increasing environmental concerns
        discussed sustainability issues in industrialized        regarding climate change,             has pushed the
        countries is climate change. By streamlining the         petrochemical sector to look for environmentally
        sector we are not only saving resources, but at the      friendlier and economically viable alternative sources.
        same time we are helping ensure the reduction of         At the same time, the competence between the big
        greenhouse gases to minimize human influence on          industries (most of theme are forming

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                                                                                                                                      ALTERNATIVE FEEDSTOCKS
                                                                        CRUDE OIL
                                                                                                          PROPANE            LNG

                                                                            REFINING                       BUTANE

                             MATERIAL RECOVERY
                                                               AROMATICS                                                   BIOMASS
                                                                     BASIC CHEMICALS

                                                                   CHEMICAL PROCESSING                            Upstream
                                                         BTP                                             (Feedstock Change Approach)
                                                                      PLASTICS, OTHER

                                                                                                          INTEGRAL APPROACH



                                                                                                                USE IN CEMENT KILN
                                                           (EOL Approach)

                       Figure 1 Strategies to close the loop in the petrochemical sector

SCENARIOS: CLOSING THE LOOP IN THE                                                                        Currently, of the total 15.4% plastic waste
PETROCHEMICAL SECTOR                                                                           that is mechanically recycled, 8.4% is recycled in
            In order to close the loop in this important                                       process. Since the petrochemical production has been
sector, it is necessary to have a holistic view. This                                          decreasing in the last years, we can not expect further
means we should look for alternatives in its whole                                             recycling Arial
                                                                                                          of plastic wastes in process. This means
life cycle. As we know, the petrochemical industry is                                          that the real improvement in mechanical recycling is
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mostly naphtha based (97% of the total feedstock).                                             in the domestic and industrial waste post use.
Since Japan depends highly on imported oil, biomass                                            From previous works it is known that post use
should be the alternative. However, currently only                                             mechanical recycling over 15% has no major benefit
biomass waste is a viable option. As LNG and LPG                                               in terms of eco-efficiency. This leaves us a room of
are cleaner feedstocks, they could also be considered                                          8% post use mechanical recycling improvement.
as potential sources. The most viable alternative is to                                                   Another important factor is the policy for
promote the recycling of petrochemical wastes,                                                 plastic wastes in Japan. The Japanese government has
especially plastics. These alternatives include                                                set a target of 40% of plastic wastes material and/or
material recovery and energy recovery. Since most of                                           chemical recycling and 50% reduction in final
the petrochemicals are made from oil, energy                                                   disposal waste by 2010 (PWMI, 2004). Finally the
recovery is considered as important as material                                                recovery technologies capacities and targets were
recovery. For the introduction of alternative scenarios                                        also considered for the scenario setting. The scenarios
in the upstream side we focused on the possibility to                                          are shown in figure 2.
introduce LNG/LPG and biomass as alternative
feedstocks. At the same time the export of the main
polymers to China were considered. In the
                                                                                                               Scenarios for Plastic Wastes Recovery
downstream side we analyzed the improvement of
material and energy recovery.                                                                          100%
Scenarios based on current capacity and demand:                                                        80%                                                     landfill
                                                                                                                                                               Simple Burning
end of life products recovery                                                                          60%                                                     Energy Recovery

            Even though plastic recycling levels have                                                  40%
                                                                                                                                                               Chemical Recycling
been increasing steadily, these are still low. The                                                     20%
scenarios, based on current capacity and demand,                                                        0%
have two major driving forces: The Japanese








Environmental Policy and the technological and









physical capacity of the plastic waste treatment



            The most important factor for the scenarios
setting was the diversion of plastic wastes from
                                                                                                       Figure 2 End of life approach scenarios
landfill and burning rather than the choice of a
specific recovery option.
Global Warming Potential, resource depletion,
                                                                                                  78                                              +10.9%
energy depletion and landfill use were the indicators
considered. As for the economic impact, the costs                                                 76

along the reverse supply chain were included. The                                                 74                       +4%

results of the environmental and economic impacts of                                       CO2eq 72
the scenarios considered for the evaluation of plastic                                      tons) 70
recovery system are showed in figure 3. The main                                                  68
                                                                                                                                    -4%   -4.2%
outcomes of this analysis are                                                                     66
     The application of end of life approach only                                                                                                                     -7.1%

     lessens one problem of the industry in Japan:                                                            2000         2005(25% MR)             2010 (30% MR)

     landfill space scarcity.                                                                          Base   LNG/LPG   LNG/LPG + biomass         biomass
     Increasing     material    recycling         levels
     (mechanical and chemical) over 30% has no                                              Figure 5 GHG reduction potential of the
     major benefit in terms of eco-efficiency.                                                   As shown in figure 4, by combining both
     The introduction of an integral collection system                                                     scenarios
     such has a positive cost impact and could make
     domestic petrochemical waste recovery viable.                                      As shown in figure 4, by combining both approaches,
Scenarios based on foreign demand increase and                                          feedstock change and recycling, it is possible to
alternative feedstocks: integral approach                                               increase the resource productivity by 15% in the best
            The integral approach scenarios vary from                                   case and 10% in the worst case by the year 2010. At
current situation gradually to sustainable options in                                   the same time, considering a 25% overall recycling
order to see how the environmental and economic                                         (15% mechanical and 10% chemical), we can achieve
indicators change in the process. At the same time the                                  a 7% improvement in resource productivity if we use
sustainability of the scenarios was measured against                                    LNG/LPG as a complementary feedstock. On the
the Japanese policy targets: resource productivity                                      other hand by keeping current trends, we can only
increase. Since the Japanese government commitment                                      expect a 3% increase mainly because of the
at the Kyoto Protocol is also an important issue, the                                   production streamlining.
GHG indicator was also considered in the analysis.                                                 Figure 5 shows the details of GHG
The scenarios considered two socioeconomic                                              emissions for the scenarios proposed. In the year
approaches and each one had 3 sub-scenarios based                                       2005 an average of 4% GHG reduction is possible
on single and multiple feedstock inputs. At the same                                    with the alternative scenarios and in the year 2010
time these scenarios included the results of the end of                                 and average of 6.8% of reduction is possible. The
life strategies explained before. The scenarios were                                    main reasons are the introduction of cleaner
calculated in the years 2005 and 2010 and compared                                      feedstocks and/or renewable ones and the increase in
with the year 2000. The scenarios are:                                                  material and/or energy recovery.
     Excess demand supplied with naphtha
     Excess demand supplied with LPG/LNG                                                                  CONCLUSIONS
     Excess demand supplied with LPG/LNG and                                                       The introduction of MFA in the industrial
     biomass                                                                            sector gives us a broader view that can help us
     Excess demand supplied with biomass                                                identify the main constrains and the most viable
                                                                                        strategies to guide that sector towards sustainable
                                                                               1.14     patterns.
                 390                                                             1.10
                 380                                             1.03
                                                   1.07 1.06
                 370                                      1.03
   total market 360                         1.01
                                                                                        PWMI (2004) An Introduction to Plastic Recycling.
       value     350    1.00
  (billion yens) 340                                                                    Plastic Waste Management Institute, Tokyo.
                               2000          2005(25% MR)        2010 (30% MR)

              Base     LNG/LPG        LNG/LPG + biomass      biomass

  Figure 4 Resource productivity of the