Epc World|February 2020
Given its key role in construction and urban development, the production levels of cement continue to rise every year. As important as cement is, the process to manufacture it is also a major environmental concern. The production of clinker, a key ingredient in cement, is a chief source of emission of noxious gases, especially carbon dioxide.
In the cement manufacturing process, a mixture of limestone and clayey materials is fed to a kiln operating at 14000C. The clinker production process is highly energy-intensive and releases gaseous effluents. For 1 tonne of cement produced, 0.6 to 1 tonne of carbon dioxide is released. In addition to clinker production, there are other processes in cement manufacturing that give off CO2. But cement is so indispensable in all walks of life; it is hard to imagine a world without cement production. Can there be a viable substitute for cement?
Globally, the cement industry has taken stock of its carbon footprint, and has now begun to function in line with the Paris Climate Accord. This has been found to have a multi-fold benefit, as not only do companies attain their sustainability goals, but investors and stock exchanges prefer organisations with sustainable roadmap.
Companies around the world are also actively developing carbon capture and storage technologies, which are also being tested during cement production, along with carbon cure clinkers. India is actively looking forward to these technologies as the future of carbon neutrality. Some of the technologies used in India towards this purpose include clinker factor reduction and thereby bring down their carbon dioxide emissions by using fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), and Calcined clay as primary materials.
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