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Low-GHG Chemicals

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Chemical production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the global industrial sector, contributing 15% of direct industrial greenhouse gas emissions with the chemicals used to make plastics, fertilizer, and synthetic fibers (ethylene, ammonia, nitric acid, adipic acid, and caprolactum) dominating emissions. One promising avenue to reducing these emissions involves using biomass as a low greenhouse gas footprint feedstock for making these chemicals. Other potentially transformative pathways for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in chemicals production could use low-carbon electricity or heat to convert nitrogen or carbon dioxide to higher order chemical building blocks, such as ammonia (from nitrogen) and alcohols or hydrocarbons (from CO2).