Towards Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Energy and Chemical Sectors in Switzerland and Beyond - A Review

Brethauer Studer, Simone; Studer, Michael Hans-Peter (2021). Towards Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Energy and Chemical Sectors in Switzerland and Beyond - A Review CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 75(9), pp. 788-799. Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft 10.2533/chimia.2021.788

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In today's societies, climate-damaging and finite fossil resources such as oil and natural gas serve a dual purpose as energy source and as carbon source for chemicals and plastics. To respond to the finite availability and to meet international climate goals, a change to a renewable energy and raw material basis is inevitable and represents a highly complex task. In this review, we assess possible technology paths for Switzerland to reach these goals. First, we provide an overview of Switzerland's current energy demand and discuss possible renewable technologies as well as proposed scenarios to defossilize the current energy system. In here, electric vehicles and heat pumps are key technologies, whereas mainly photovoltaics replace nuclear power to deliver clean electricity. The production of chemicals also consumes fossil resources and for Switzerland, the oil demand for imported domestically used chemicals and plastics corresponds to around 20% of the current energetic oil demand. Thus, we additionally summarize technologies and visions for a sustainable chemical sector based on the renewable carbon sources biomass, CO2 and recycled plastic. As biomass is the most versatile renewable energy and carbon source, although with a limited availability, aspects and proposed strategies for an optimal use are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture > Sustainability and Circular Economy


Brethauer Studer, Simone0000-0001-7755-7593 and
Studer, Michael Hans-Peter0000-0003-1083-0967


T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering




Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft




Simone Brethauer Studer

Date Deposited:

03 Aug 2022 11:56

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2022 11:56

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Biomass Carbon capture and usage or storage CCUS Final energy demand Net-zero GHG emissions Renewable carbon




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