In releasing its Mid-Century Vision report titled ‘Molecule Managers’, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) launches a dialogue about the future of the chemical industry and its role in building a prosperous and more sustainable Europe by 2050.
The next ten years will be decisive for the future of the EU chemical industry. During this time, it will need to develop its own competitive place in the global economy while adapting to new challenges. These challenges include a decline in globalisation and free trade, the EU goal of a climate neutral economy, a talent crunch and increasing transparency of supply chains due to digitalisation and blockchain.
Daniele Ferrari, Cefic President said: “We will lead this transition by offering European sustainable solutions to global challenges. The “European way” means innovating towards circular models and being at the forefront of new technologies. We invite all parties to engage in the discussion with us to define this European way.”
Based on a thorough analysis and dialogue, we conclude the chemical industry can play a key role in transformingwaste into valuable feedstock or new materials and can further integrate with other industrial sectors. As European society moves towards greater circularity, the importance of this role will only grow. Chemical recycling is one of the technologies that will make this possible.
A more extensive use of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies will make chemicals production and chemical risk assessment more efficient and transparent. It will also help better track substances of concern in supply chains and further improve the safety of chemicals in the EU. Applying all these technologies will require a workforce with a completely different skills set.
The report is not a forecast but rather a foresight and an invitation to all stakeholders to enter into dialogue with us. Based on these discussions and feedback, Cefic will be regularly updating this Vision.
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?