Infrared image of operating cement kiln. Image credit:ElectroPhysics.com
In the back and forth of setting emission cut-back 'best practices,' it's a common response for industry, sensing stingent regulations are just around the corner, to 'volunteer' something. Cynics might see in a recent announcement, an example of just such a tactic - 18 of the world's leading cement companies offering a 25% cutback in greenhouse gas emissions; via:Reuters. After all, cement makers are one of the largest carbon-emitting industries. However, far more progressive intentions seem to be in play with this example.The cutback proposals are based on work begun much earlier: a clear indication of being proactive. "CSI's Agenda for Action was published in 2002, following a two year program of scoping, research and stakeholder consultation looking at what sustainable development means for the future of the cement industry." For details, look here.
Participants in the World Business Council For Sustainable Development-sponsored Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI), represent participants invited from developing as well as members from developed nations. The participant roster includes cement companies from the USA, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Ireland, India, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Thailand, India, Portugal, Japan, Greece, and Brazil.
A program spokesperson for the CSI project indicated the program's intention clearly.
"It is critical to get developing countries involved, because that's where 80 percent of cement is made and that is projected to increase to 90 percent by 2030," he added.One big problem: the consensus standard is incomplete. Conspicuous by absence from the participant roster are cement making firms based in China, Russia, and any Middle Eastern nations.
"Just because Europe is about to cut emissions, that isn't going to prompt India, for example, to do the same."
The process modification methods proposed for reducing cement-making emissions are as follows:
The initiative hopes to substitute residues from steel production and coal-fired power stations for clinker.
More emissions cuts may come from the use of biofuels for heat generation and carbon capture and storage for burying the emissions.
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