Technology - 24/June/2019

Cement industry takes steps to atone for massive carbon sins

Significant investment is needed at the development and commercialisation stages

The cement industry is one of the largest industrial emitters of greenhouse gases. Denmark’s Aalborg Portland, part of the international Cementir Group, is gearing up to bring a new type of cement to the market, which could cut the industry's emissions by up to 30%. The product is expected to be commercial by the end of 2020


Key fact: A new type of cement that combines calcined clay, limestone filler and cement clinker may reduce the consumption of traditional cement clinker by up to 30%, in the process reducing carbon emissions by 30%

Qualifier: Concrete must be proven to be massively hardwearing in a multitude of conditions before it can be considered ready for commercial production. This takes time

Reality check: “We have not yet determined a price, but it will not be cheaper than the cement we sell today. The materials we use in the new green cement are more expensive, but the final price will depend on a number of factors, demand, availability of raw materials and, not least, how fast the new cement will replace existing cement types.”


Cement, used to make concrete, involves decomposing limestone (calcium carbonate) to produce clinker, a process that accounts for two-thirds of the industry’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Reducing the clinker content of cement is a key climate lever. Calcined clay has for some time been hailed as a potential replacement for clinker. Denmark's Aalborg Portland, a producer of cement, says it will have cement made from calcined clay commercially available by 2020. ...

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