Collectively achieving climate goals and shaping a future sustainable circular economy

The second edition of the Brightsite Transition Outlook shows that the transition to a circular industry will be paired with scarcity: scarcity of green energy, of green raw materials and of industrial water. Where so far the energy transition in particular has received attention, the focus is now on the raw material transition. Brightsite Transition Outlook (BTO) 2023 has been formulated for companies, research institutes, policymakers and support organisations that are collectively shaping the raw materials transition for the chemical industry. A fictional chemical complex, CHEM-NL, encompassing the entirety of the Netherlands’ ethylene and ammonia production, is shedding light on the requisite renewable raw materials and energy.

Download the Brightsite Transition Outlook

This comprehensive analysis offers insights into the raw materials transition of the Dutch chemical sector and the challenges involved.

Brightsite advisory board enthusiastic about BTO 2023

“Brightsite Transition Outlook presents relevant future vision that matters”

Emmo Meijer: “I find it good and refreshing that with the BTO a step is being taken towards a comprehensive view around the transition of the chemical industry. So far, everyone is talking about their own piece of the puzzle and showpiece, but no holistic view is emerging. The BTO provides the overview needed to make the transformation to a sustainable, circular chemistry and outlines a relevant view of the future that matters.”

Marcel Wubbolts: “I am very excited about the BTO. The infographic is strong and tells the holistic story. It is good that the BTO links the energy and raw materials transition. Using the CIMS (Chemelot Integral Model System) model, we can look at what chemistry can look like, considering a wide range of factors. Now we need to engage with each other, all stakeholders involved – industry, citizens, governments and NGOs – and based on factual information such as the CIMS findings.”

Infographic: the raw material transition for chemistry, made transparant for ethylene and ammonia

The infographic – an important part of the BTO – provides insight into future outcomes following from assumed success, such as required quantities of raw materials and energy and the dependence of raw material options on the availability of CO2-free energy. Numbers for CHEM-NL 2050 depend on choices to be made. If CCS is in the past in 2050, climate-neutral CHEM-NL in 2050 uses a combination of recyclate, biomaterial or CO2 from air, complemented by CO2-free electricity and green hydrogen to produce green ammonia, ethylene and co-products.

How to read the infographic from Brightsite Transition Outlook 2023?

The infographic provides insight into the resource demand and other aspects, if the three possible sources for carbon and hydrogen: waste, biomass or air and water, were each used separately to green the total production of CHEM-NL (CHEM-NL being a fictional chemical complex based on the current national production of ethylene and ammonia). The mutual differences between these routes are thought-provoking and are based on the assumed unlimited availability of these raw materials and technologies.

BTO Roadshow – Invitation for dialogue

What does the raw materials transition mean for your region?

With BTO 2023 as input, embedded in the Green Chemistry, New Economy transition process, we would like to engage with stakeholders from the various regional climate and industry tables: What does the raw materials transition mean for your region? Where do the non-fossil raw materials for your industrial energy and materials needs come from? How can we further understand your region’s transition paths? Is quantitative analysis via the CIMS model a useful tool for your cluster as well? And how can we work together towards a sustainable future?

The BTO discusses:

  • Why acceleration in sustainability is only possible if we are able to eliminate the scarcity of green carbon and energy as well as prevent inefficient use.
  • How the raw materials transition is inextricably linked to the energy transition.
  • Why the resource transition cannot be separated from a sustainable approach to industrial water use.
  • That the industrial transition has major implications for society and requires a proactive approach to citizen participation.
  • That the ‘ideal future scenario’ depends on frameworks and guidelines from Europe and national governments for stimulating support for the raw materials and energy transition.

Climate tables

→ May | TNO Business Team | Industry table Mid-West Brabant
→ June | RWE industry table
→ 29 June | Chemelot Circular Hub region board Limburg
→ 11 July | Professors University Maastricht
→ 13 July | BioBased Circular core team
→ 18 July | Brightsite Colloquium
→ 28 August | Shell Moerdijk
→ 31 August | Nature and environment
→ 4 Sept | Economic Board Zuid Holland Task Force Circulair
→ 12 Sept | GCNE Contact group energy intensive provinces and ministries
→ 27 Sept | Chemport Groningen
→ 4 Oct | Chemistry Top Team
→ 11 Oct | Zuyd University & CHILL | Province of Zeeland /Smart Delta Resources
→ 7 Nov | Annual conference Green Chemistry, New Economy

During our BTO Roadshow, we are happy to engage with parties about our findings.

Authors BTO 2023: Charting the path to a circular Chemelot site

At Chemelot, the quest for sustainability and circularity is not just an abstract goal but a tangible commitment. The site strives to be a fully circular chemistry site by 2050. Individuals like Céline Fellay, Program Manager Transition Scenarios and System Integration and Paul Brandts, Intelligence Officer at Brightsite, are at the forefront of this transformative journey and have been working hard in recent months, in collaboration with the Brightsite Program Managers, on the second Brightsite Transition Outlook. Céline and Paul give more insight into its creation.

Céline Fellay, Program Manager Transition Scenario’s and System Integration:

“Our analysis is valid for numerous sectors and countries in Europe, where energy efficiency is crucial. By sharing insights we can make a far greater impact.”

Paul Brandts, Intelligence Officer:

“BTO acts as a catalyst for change, bridging the gap between research output and its practical implementation in the outside world.”

Do you want to contribute to the transition of the chemical industry?

Brightsite is committed to achieving a sustainable, competitive chemical industry. To this end, we make an important contribution to the chemical industry’s transition to renewable energy and raw materials, with the aim of making the sector climate-neutral while preserving jobs.

Do you recognise yourself in Brightsite’s approach? Would you like to know more about how we view the transition in the chemical industry or would you like to work with us?

This publication has been created with support from ChemistryNL and the Province of Limburg.


Proud partners | Sitech Services | TNO | Maastricht University | Brightlands Chemelot Campus

Also read BTO 2022: Towards sustainable chemistry at Chemelot

In 2022, the first Brightsite Transition Outlook was released, giving an overview of how and when the climate goals can be realised at Chemelot and what is needed to achieve them. With this, Brightsite supports site users in their investments in Chemelot’s future. The 2030 targets are expected to be largely achievable through measures already identified. However, the zero emission target for 2050 still requires several new solutions.

News regarding BTO 2023