Carbon emissions in cement production threaten GHG reduction goals

Cement is essential to many infrastructure projects that address climate change.

July 10, 2018 |
Cement

While infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric and wind power farms are seen as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the production process for an essential material for these projects—cement—is itself a major carbon polluter.

The cement industry is the second-largest industrial emitter of carbon after the steel industry. For cement manufacturers to lower emissions, they would have to either develop a whole new material or invest in carbon-capture systems.

To date, the industry seems to be unwilling or unable to finance the research needed to develop a low-cost, low-carbon alternative to cement. There are some researchers developing new cement formulas that use less calcium, which would lower pollution.

A carbon tax may be the best way to spur cement producers to reduce GHG emissions, some believe.

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