CO2 carbonation as a pathway for a sustainable cement industry?
18. Nov. 2020
The European Green Deal is targeting to “decarbonise and modernise” energy intensive industries including the cement sector. As a major contributor to climate change, the cement industry is responsible for approx. 7% of all global anthropogenic emissions and 18% of the emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Since more than half of the materials that humans use on earth are “cementitious” – including concrete, cement and other building materials – it is currently difficult to imagine a life without cement. On the contrary, an increasing use can be expected. Therefore, the need for sustainable pathways in the production of such materials is growing. In the cement production process several strategic levers can jointly improve the CO2 footprint of production towards greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality. However, more than half of the produced GHG emissions in cement production are related to the chemical breakdown of its major feedstock limestone. Therefore, Carbon Capture and Utilization or Storage (CCU/CCS) technologies become necessary to tackle a major share of the required emission reductions towards GHG neutrality. In particular, technologies for CO2 carbonation (also often called CO2 mineralization) could play a role in the cement sector. In these processes, CO2 is reacted with activated virgin minerals or industrial waste materials to form carbonates which could be used in the production of building materials. A few lighthouse projects around the globe have already demonstrated this commercially. However, more research and development is necessary to advance such technologies which already have been anchored as an important element in many strategic research agendas. Setting aside the technical challenges, it is essential that we find solutions that are environmentally, economically and societally viable. Hence, studies are needed that evaluate the sustainability potentials and risks of such technologies. Moreover, knowledge about the sustainability impacts must be shared and discussed with a broader audience to shape the development of CO2 carbonation technologies according to everyone’s needs. We cordially invite you to join this webinar to get insides about CO2 carbonation strategies and their potentials and risks in the cement sector and discuss with the other participants and experts. Please register here by November 10, 2020.