Decarbonising the Cement Industry

After consideration of Carbon Capture and Storage from carbon fuelled power plants, there are other significant sources of Carbon Dioxide emissions from industrial process facilities. One such type of facility is Cement Plants. A series of steps would be required to help mitigate and eliminate these emissions.

The cement industry contributes 7-8 % of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The International Energy Agency estimates, that 20 to 30% of cement production facilities should include CCS by 2050 to meet 2°C of global temperature increase.

The emissions occur during the two processes. First one, when limestone is heated up to 1450°C, largely fuelled by fossil fuels. Second one, when heating starts the de-carbonation where CO2 is driven from the limestone. 

Due to the specifics of the industrial process, 60-65 % of these emissions are unavoidable.

There appears no alternative to Carbon Capture and Storage in the cement industry

Producing 1 ton of cement, emits up to 0.6-0.9 ton of carbon dioxide CO2.

The cement industry is developing Carbon Capture technologies, but there is no commercial scale facility currently in operation.

One of the largest research and development activities in the industry is the Norcem Brevik facility in Norway. According to current plans, CO2 separation from the cement production plant will start in 2024.

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