Construction of cities is on the rise in many parts of the world, driving up cement production.
In 2019, some 4.1 gigatonnes (Gt) of cement were produced globally,
with China accounting for 54%. The cement industry produces approximately 2.5 Gt of CO2 emissions – both directly and indirectly – accounting for some 7% of total energy- and process-related CO2 emissions.


Paths towards decarbonization

There are several options available for partially or fully decarbonizing cement, but cost considerations are slowing the transition. Production of carbon-zero cement currently costs around double that of fossil-based cement. 

Most of the industry’s carbon emissions are generated through the production of clinker, an intermediary product formed by heating calcium carbonate to convert it into the main component of cement: lime.
Emissions can be reduced if clinker is substituted for alternative binders, such as blast-furnace slag or fly ash. 

The energy used for cement production can also be switched to more sustainable alternatives, either through direct electrification or the use of biomass and waste-to-energy sources.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies address both process and energy emissions from cement production. As carbon capture is never 100% efficient, CCUS technologies should be used in conjunction with bioenergy in order to produce negative emissions.


How SFW is helping

Our calcium-looping technology can be integrated with the cement-manufacture process to enable carbon capture, utilization and storage.