2018/09/13: If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world.
Cement use is set to rise as global urbanisation and economic development increases demand for new buildings and infrastructure. Along with other parts of the global economy, the cement industry will need to dramatically cut its emissions to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. However, only limited progress has been made so far.
cement emissions depend largely on the proportion of clinker used in each tonne of cement. The type of fuel and efficiency of equipment used during clinker production also have an impact.
There are several reasons low-clinker or novel cements have so far failed to reach widespread use.
These technologies are less tried-and-tested than Portland cement, which has been used in construction for centuries. This leads to resistance from cement consumers, particularly in a sector which – for obvious reasons – tends to put safety as a high priority. Many of these new technologies are also not mature enough to reach wide-scale use.
Alternatives also tend to have more limited applications, meaning there may be no single replacement for Portland cement. Their use would, therefore, mean a move away from prescriptive standards.
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Cement production is one of the dirtiest industrial processes on the planet. It produces nearly 9% of global carbon emissions. This increases every year with the extraordinary demands for building materials