CO2-Neutral Chemical Industry - The Challenge of an Industry Transformation

GETEC Group CEO Thomas P. Wagner shares his opinion

CHEManager asked executives and industry experts to share their opinions on this industry transformation, which is a multi-stakeholder challenge and comprises economical, technical, societal and political aspects.


Decarbonization is probably the strongest driver of transformation today. Only if every sector makes a significant contribution to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), climate neutrality in 2050 according to the EU Green Deal will succeed. To achieve these goals, every industry must review its entire value chain. The chemical industry is one of the main emitters of CO2. Therefore, a holistic view to tackle GHG is re­quired. From sourcing of raw materials not only from oil and the improvement of processes for the incorporation of CO2 in products, to energy used and materials and gases recycled in order to get to net zero production.

This transformation comes at enormous speed with many new regulations in the introduction phase. On top of political and consequently regulatory framework, the capital markets require very clear and dedicated ESG strategies to commit to this transformation. Thus, a major focus of top management is needed, major investments, major knowledge and speed are necessary to tackle that challenge. This is when outsourcing is being considered by most chemical companies — when focus and resources needs to be on core processes. Therefore, a strong partner is required in order to manage speed and complexity.

In addition to the provision of highly efficient energy solutions, innovative energy service providers such as GETEC have developed further solutions for their chemical customers based on the Waste2Value approach. For example, in the thermal utilization of highly climate-damaging special gases such as nitrous oxide or vent gas out of production or storage. Or in the completely climate-neutral energy supply of Clariant‘s new production site in Romania. Here, Clariant produces bioethanol from wheat straw, while GETEC uses the residual lignin for the energy supply. Doubly innovative and sustainable.

These examples show, however, that the chemical industry should not only be considered in terms of its own scope, but also in terms of its additional climate-contribution as one of the main players. The entire future field of hydrogen synthesis, for example, will not work without according catalysts produced by the chemical industry. This is a more hon­est and holistic view of the chemical industry‘s contribution to CO2 reduction and it offers considerable opportunities.

Please find the full article at:

Christian Faßelt

Leiter Unternehmens- und Marketingkommunikation

Albert-Vater-Straße 50
39108 Magdeburg