Improving climate performance of cement production : Developing an assessment framework and applying it to a CEMEX cement production cluster in Germany
It is very likely that human being is contributing to the process of global warming. Industrial activities such as cement production are among the largest sources of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there are ongoing efforts to reduce the CO2 emissions attributed to the cement production. In order to be able to systematically identify, classify, and evaluate the most effective, applicable, and feasible CO2 improvement measures, it is essential to have an assessment framework, which has an environmental management perspective. Such a framework should be able to cover the widest range of potential CO2 improvement measures, therefore it has to have a wide system perspective and consider all material, and energy flows within the industry as useful resources.
The first part of this thesis uses the concepts of Industrial Ecology and Industrial Symbiosis as the supporting theoretical concepts for developing such assessment framework. The framework has semi-qualitative approach for assessing different measures and is developed in two parts: (1) generic and (2) site-specific assessment. The first part considers general aspects of the measures such as level of Industrial Symbiosis (i.e. complexity of business approach), the potential of each measure for reducing CO2 emissions, and their technological maturity. The second part assesses the feasibility of the measures regarding the conditions of a specific cement producing system. Aspects such as organizational applicability, technical and infrastructural applicability, and the existing level of implementation of each measure are considered.
In the second part of this thesis, the developed framework is applied on a selected cement production system which is a cluster composed of three cement plants in Germany (owned by CEMEX) referred to as the Cluster West. The result of the assessment provides insights about the state-of-the-art of CO2 improvement measures in cement industry in general and also demonstrates which of these measures are most (or least) suited for development in the Cluster West. The production system of the Cluster West has effectively applied CO2 improvement measures in areas such as producing blended cement products, using alternative fuels (and renewable fuels) for clinker production. In addition, its clinker production (the Kollenbach plant that is part of the Cluster West) has relatively good energy efficiency. According to the results of the assessment, CO2 improvement measures such as co-generation (producing electricity from excess heat of the plant), using renewable fuels, using alternative materials for clinker production, and increasing the usage of alternative fuels are among the most applicable choices for further implementation.
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