Displaying items by tag: Emissions
LafargeHolcim, ArcelorMittal, Evonik and Solvay form partnership to reduce carbon emissions across industries17 November 2016
Morocco: LafargeHolcim, ArcelorMittal, Evonik and Solvay have formed a Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative across the steel, cement and chemicals industries. This new partnership will look at the potential synergies that exist between the manufacturing processes of these three energy intensive sectors, and how these synergies could be harnessed to reduce CO2 emissions.
As a first step, and following preliminary research, the innovative partnership will produce a study with the technical support of Arthur D Little to identify potential ways to valorise industrial off-gases and other by-products from their manufacturing processes to produce goods with a lower carbon footprint than through the fossil path. The preliminary research has already allowed identification of significant potential in selected trans-sector pathways.
The study is aimed at bringing a fact-based overview of carbon and energy sources from industrial off-gases (first at a European level), and evaluating the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of different Carbon Capture and Usage (CCU) pathways and their potential.
Initial findings from the first step already underway suggest that deploying cross-sector carbon capture and reuse opportunities on an industrial scale could reduce up to 3 GT/yr or 7% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Existing conversion technologies that could be deployed across the three sectors could utilise by-products in the off-gases to create building materials, organic chemicals and fuel. Increased availability and greater access to renewable energy sources would significantly boost net carbon reduction efforts by those three sectors, within a supportive legislative framework. Cross sector carbon capture and reuse should also result in job creation, to be further investigated.
The study, carried out at European level, is building the ground for similar investigation extended at global level and paves the way for identifying and assessing industrial scale projects on CCU at the interface between the sectors.
“Concrete offers the highest level of life-cycle sustainability performance and we are continuously developing new products and solutions for a low carbon society. This new ambitious partnership will support our mission to cut our net emissions per ton of cement by 40% towards 2030 (versus 1990) and to develop and further deploy low carbon solutions for the construction sector. But to make this a reality, we will need an enabling regulatory framework and support for innovation,” said Bernard Mathieu, Head Group Sustainable Development of LafargeHolcim.
US: Holcim US has officially completed its US$96m upgrade project to its Hagerstown cement plant in Maryland. The two-year modernisation project has helped the plant to adhere to NESHAP environmental rules and has increased production capacity at the site by 0.2Mt/yr.
"A cornerstone of the regional community for 113 years, we recognise the importance of this facility to the Hagerstown community," said John Stull, chief executive officer of US cement operations for LafargeHolcim. "Our investment to modernise clinker production represents our continued commitment to our customers and local manufacturing. The facility will continue to be a strong and reliable partner to the community for many more years to come."
The upgrades to the plant should deliver a more than a 60% reduction to nitrogen oxides (NOx), approximately a 50% reduction to sulfur dioxide (SO2) and more than a 75% reduction to Particulate Matter (PM) emissions from the plant.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development helps to reduce carbon emissions from the Egyptian cement industry29 September 2016
Egypt: The Egyptian cement industry could reduce its CO2 emissions by 2030 by following new recommendations in a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). These recommendations have been published in the EBRD’s report, ‘Policy roadmap for a Low-Carbon Egyptian Cement Industry,’ which highlights the need for decisive and collaborative action by the industry’s stakeholders in order to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions.
“Improving environmental standards in the cement industry and offering commercial incentives is realistic and vital for the profitability of the sector,” said Philip ter Woort, the EBRD Director for Egypt.
The roadmap outlines recommendations for policy actions from the Egyptian government that may provide effective incentives for the cement industry to improve its energy efficiency and to reduce CO2 emissions. The report points out that the potential for improvement is high despite that 50% of the Egyptian cement industry’s production capacity was built after 2000, and is using up-to-date equipment and clinker kilns that use best available technology (BAT).
Until 2014, the Egyptian cement industry, one of the most energy intensive industries in the country, had primarily used state-subsidised natural gas and heavy fuel oil to fire its cement kilns. However, following a gradual phasing out of the energy subsidies, Egyptian cement companies have switched to using high CO2 intensive fuels such as coal and petcoke.
The roadmap suggests that in order to reduce CO2 emissions, the industry should reduce the clinker content in cement, increase the use of alternative fuels, improve electrical energy efficiency and use more renewable sources of energy. Under one of the more ambitious scenarios, 2.2Mt/yr of coal will no longer have to be imported by 2030, saving about US$200m. Furthermore this would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions to about 2% below the historic level prior to the fuel switch. In addition the cement industry could increase its usage of alternative fuels substitution.
The report was initiated by the EBRD, in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the Chamber of Building Materials Industries/Cement Industry Association (CBMI) and the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Canada: Lafarge Canada has announced the completion of modernisation and environmental upgrades at its Exshaw cement plant in Alberta. The plant has increased its cement production capacity to 2.2Mt/yr from 1.3Mt/yr. Environmental improvements have led to a 60% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions, a 40% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a reduction in fugitive dust and noise coming from the plant's equipment. The plant has also achieved zero water discharge from its operations.
"It is an incredible achievement to comple a project of this scale. Completing it safely takes focus and energy and I applaud the team for its dedication to this goal," said René Thibault, President and CEO, Lafarge, Western Canada. "By all accounts we consider the project to be a success, cementing our long term commitment to Exshaw, Alberta and western Canada."
The upgrade consisted of shutting down the plant’s kiln four in November 2015. It modernised kiln five to meet new emissions targets by retiring less efficient gravel-bed filter technology. It then built a new production line, kiln six, with a baghouse to collect particulates, as well as a vertical raw mill, a EcoDome storage facility, a pre-heater tower and a vertical cement mill.
Construction at the plant began in 2013, with more than 600 contracted employees on site at the peak of construction activity in addition to 160 permanent employees. The team achieved nearly three million hours without a lost time incident.
US: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have agreed a settlement with Cemex, under which the company will invest approximately US$10m to cut air pollution at five of its cement plants to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. Under the consent decree lodged in the District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Cemex will also pay a US$1.69m civil penalty, conduct energy audits at the five plants, and spend US$150,000 on energy efficiency projects to mitigate the effects of past excess emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from its facilities.
“This settlement requires Cemex to use state-of-the-art technology to reduce harmful air pollution, improving public health in vulnerable communities across the South and Southeast,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is committed to tackling clean air violations at the largest sources, cutting the pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses like asthma.”
The five Cemex cement plants affected by the deal are located in Demopolis in Alabama, Louisville in Kentucky, Knoxville in Tennessee and New Braunfels and Odessa in Texas. The Knox County, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky air pollution control authorities participated in this settlement. Cemex is required to install pollution control technology that will reduce emissions of NOx and establish strict limits for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The cement producer will install and continuously operate a selective non-catalytic reduction system for controlling NOx at the five plants and meet emission limits that are consistent with the current best available control technology for NOx. EPA estimates this will result in NOx emissions reductions of over 4000t/yr. Each facility will also be subject to strict SO2 emission limits.
This settlement is part of EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative to control harmful emissions from large sources of pollution, which includes cement plants, under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements. The total combined SO2 and NOx emission reductions secured from cement plant settlements under this initiative will exceed 75,000t/yr once all the required pollution controls have been installed and implemented.
The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
US: The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is working with Lehigh Cement to investigate a potential source of hexavalent chromium (chromium six) emissions from a cement terminal in Portland. The environmental agency suspects that cement dust may be a contributing source of chromium six that it has monitored since March 2016 in southeast Portland. The DEQ is working with the cement company to improve its dust-capturing efforts when unloading cement from railcars.
“We're concerned about the persistence of elevated levels of chromium,” said Pete Shepherd, interim DEQ director. “We are making every effort to bring those levels down.” The DEQ has also required a nearby glass manufacturer to clean its exhaust stacks to tackle the problem.
Germany: HeidelbergCement has released its seventh Sustainability Report so far. Highlights from the report include a reduction of specific net CO2 emissions by 22% to 606kg/t of cement (compared to 1990 levels) and a decreased clinker factor of 75%. However, specific emissions for NOx, SO2 and mercury all rose slightly from 2014.
“The numbers show what kind of progress HeidelbergCement made in 2015,” said Bernd Scheifele, CEO of HeidelbergCement. “We have also substantially intensified our commitment to the development of technologies to use CO2 as a resource, and we have entered into very promising cooperative research projects. This puts us at the forefront of the movement in the cement industry.”
The 2015 report is also the first to present data on water management, following the implementation of industry indicators for water reporting at all cement plants in 2013 and 2014.
Canada: St Marys Cement has reported breaching its limits for air emissions on five occasions in 2015. Environmental manager Ruben Plaza presented the findings to Clarington council on 13 June 2016, according to the Durham Region newspaper.
Plaza said the first two breaches occurred in January 2015 and were caused by plant and quarry activities. They measured values of 53mg/m3 and 72mg/m3. The other three breaches were not related to the plant’s activity, according to Plaza. He blamed them on, ”…activities close to samplers or could have been construction on Highway 401.” These occurred twice in May and again in July 2015. They were 51mg/m3, 51mg/m3 and 54mg/m3 respectively. Plaza added that it is not ‘abnormal’ for an industrial plant to exceed its air emissions limits on occasions, provided they do not happen constantly. The local 24-hour average limit for emissions is 53mg/m3.
It was also revealed that St Marys Cement’s operations released 4096t of SO2 between in 2015. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change allows for 3511t. However, the cement producer is allowed to transfer the difference between its plants to obtain clearance.
The Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) has announced its aim to reduce CO2 emissions by clinker producers by 20 - 25% by 2030. It made the announcement as part of a new action plan launched on 8 December 2015 at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).
Most of the plan follows the CSI's existing aims announced to chime with the on-going COP21 negotiations. The plan depends on a long-term agreement being brokered successfully in Paris at COP21 as a whole. It then recommends policy in each of its key areas to achieve its goals. All of this sits beneath a general policy statement to, '...encourage policies for predictable, objective, level-playing and stable CO2 constraints and incentives as well as energy frameworks on an international level.'
The Cement Action Plan is part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi). It puts together a series of measures to aspire to reduce CO2 emissions by 1Gt by 2030 compared to business as usual. However this reduction is dependent on the entire cement industry getting involved, not just the existing 26 CSI members. Together these 26 members represent just a quarter of world cement production.
The drop in emissions is based on the so-called 'best-in-class' CSI company 2020 targets. To reach this the CSI is suggesting actions including focusing on recording Chinese cement industry emissions and energy usage, improving energy efficiency, promoting co-processing of alternative fuels, further lowering the clinker factor of cements, developing new low-energy and low-carbon cements, looking at the entire build chain to reduce emissions and considering other options such as carbon capture and storage. The plan had the support of the CEOs of 16 cement companies at its launch, with CNBM CEO Song Zhiping adding his assent at the event also.
The most prominent step is the clear focus on China for data capture using existing CSI tools such as the CO2 and Energy Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Cement Industry, the Getting the Numbers Right (GNR) and the Cement Technology Roadmaps. As the CSI puts it, "What gets measured gets managed."
Given that China produces around 60% of the world's cement, according to United States Geological Survey data, the focus on China is essential. Currently the CSI has six Chinese members: CNBM, Sinoma, China Resources, Tianrui Group, West China Cement and Yati Group. Notable exceptions to CSI membership from the world's biggest cement producers include the Chinese producers Anhui Conch and Taiwan Cement, as well as Russia's Eurocement and India's Aditya Birla Group.
So, the CSI has set out its stall ahead of a hoped-for global agreement on climate change at the Paris conference. If some sort of legal agreement is reached then the CSI has its recommendations ready in the wings to hand to policymakers everywhere to promote its aims. If no agreement is reached then the plan loses momentum although pushing forwards makes sense where possible, starting with better CO2 data reported especially in China.
Problems lie ahead for the CSI whatever happens in Paris given that the LCTPi Cement Action Plan is a series of policy suggestions from only 16 cement producers aiming for a non-binding target. For example, without some sort of world legal agreement there are clear commercial advantages for non-CSI members to burn cheap fossil fuels in their kilns and undercut their more environmentally pious rivals. The sustaining low cost of oil, dipping below US$40/barrel this week, can only aggravate this situation and distract the strategies of fuel buyers away from co-processing upgrades.
India: Pollution caused by seven cement plants in the Khrew area of South Kashmir is adversely affecting wildlife, saffron production, human and livestock wellbeing, according to local media.
The local people said that the worst affected villages of Khrew include Pakhribal Nagadore and Botthen. The lives of people living in these villages have been 'turned into hell.' Locals have demanded that the government strictly enforce pollution control norms at the cement plants.
Environmental science expert Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, who has studied the effects of cement plants in Khrew on the human lives, flora, fauna and wildlife, said that their presence is harmful in the short- and long-term. He said that mercury emissions have already affected saffron production, while dust pollution has affected both Khrew woods and the neighbouring village of Harwan. Bhat added that the area also has more respiratory problems among locals.
A meeting between the civil society Khrew Auqaf Committee, deputy commissioner Pulwama Neeraj Kumar and the cement plant owners was held to discuss pollution and monitoring. A resolution is expected to be presented at a second meeting within a month.