Georgiades, Maria; Shah, Izhar Hussain; Myers, Rupert J.
The cement industry generates 5-8% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, mainly through limestone calcination and fossil-fuel combustion during clinker production. Therefore, the cement industry and researchers are investigating efficient cement production methods and environmental mitigation measures, such as reducing clinker content in the finished cement and switching to alternative fuels for combustion. In this study, we show preliminary results from a cradle-to-gate prospective life cycle assessment (pLCA) of cement production in Europe, with various CO2 emissions reduction measures implemented until 2050. We use a modified life cycle inventory database (ecoinvent v.3.6), that incorporates scenarios developed using the IMAGE integrated assessment model (IAM). The IMAGE model follows the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (e.g., SSP2), to consistently describe possible futures of socioeconomic development and environmental change. We analyse potential carbon mitigation scenarios specific to cement production, such as fuel mix and technological changes, including a sensitivity analysis. Our results indicate that the impact of fuel mix changes could be more significant in reducing greenhouse gas emissions relative to technological changes. These preliminary results are an initial step towards a more comprehensive investigation of climate change and resources impact reduction measures in cement production. We will use these results to study further environmental impact reductions by replacing the cement clinker with industrial by-products, notably novel processed bauxite residue materials. Our aim is to use the insights gained through this research to guide cement production towards increased industrial by-product utilisation and reduced environmental impacts. “The research leading to these results has been performed within the ReActiv project and received funding from the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020/2014-2020) under grant agreement n° 958208”