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CO2 emissions reduction potential in China's cement industry compared to IEA's cement technology roadmap up to 2050

: Xu, J.-H.; Fleiter, T.; Fan, Y.; Eichhammer, W.


Applied energy 130 (2014), pp.592-602
ISSN: 0306-2619
ISSN: 1872-9118
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()

The cement industry is the second-largest CO2 emitting industrial sector in China, and it is faced with increasing worldwide criticism to pressure China to reduce its CO2 emissions to acceptable level. In this study, the effects of potential technological improvement to China's cement industry are evaluated and compared to the International Energy Agency (IEA) global target of CO2 emissions reduction up to 2050 in the global cement industry. In other words, is it feasible to achieve half CO2 emissions reductions (about 53%) in China's cement industry by 2050, depending on the current technological knowledge and standards? Based on the typical production process for clinker manufacturing, the future emissions reduction path was analysed by building reasonable scenarios that might reflect the different consequences of economic and technological conditions. The results show that it seems technically possible to achieve the expected goal, regardless of the cement output rat e according to current Best Available Technology (BAT). The relative contributions of four technology measures (clinker substitution, carbon capture and storage (CCS), efficiency improvement and alternative fuel use) to emissions reduction are about 37%, 33%, 15%, and 15%, respectively. However, further technology innovations are needed if a more ambitious objective (such as three-quarters reduction) is expected to be achieved. The technological shift will include not only efficiency improvements due to advanced production process, CCS technology and fuel/clinker substitution designs, but also changes in new building materials instead of cement products. A sensitivity analysis further shows that it is not possible to achieve the half emissions reduction target with current technological knowledge without making use of CCS technology and clinker substitution.