Energy-Efficiency and Air-Pollutant Emissions-Reduction Opportunities for the Ammonia Industry in China

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As one of the most energy-intensive and polluting industries, ammonia production is responsible for significant carbon dioxide (CO2) and air-pollutant emissions. Although many energy-efficiency measures have been proposed by the Chinese government to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, lack of understanding of the cost-effectiveness of such improvements has been a barrier to implementing these measures. Assessing the costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of different energy-efficiency measures is essential to advancing this understanding. In this study, a bottom-up energy conservation supply curve model is developed to estimate the potential for energy savings and emissions reductions from 26 energy-efficiency measures that could be applied in China's ammonia industry. Cost-effective implementation of these measures saves a potential 271.5 petajoules/year for fuel and 5,443 gigawatt-hours/year for electricity, equal to 14% of fuel and 14% of electricity consumed in China's ammonia industry in 2012. These reductions could mitigate 26.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. This study also quantifies the co-benefits of reducing air-pollutant emissions and water use that would result from saving energy in China's ammonia industry. This quantitative analysis advances our understanding of the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures and can be used to augment efforts to reduce energy use and environmental impacts.

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