An easy way to reduce thermal carbon emissions

Published 03 October 2022

To reach its net zero target the cement industry will have to accelerate the roll-out of its decarbonisation initiatives, including the thermal efficiency of kilns.

The replacement of long wet dry kilns with modern dry-

process kilns is key in decarbonising the Chinese cement industry

There is a reasonable consensus that the average thermal energy consumption of cement kilns around the world is ~3500MJ/t of clinker produced. Jim O’Brien of Jim O’Brien CSR Consulting harvests vast amounts of sustainability-related data from cement company sustainability reports. From those he generates his own league tables which he compares with the Cement Sustainability Initiative’s (now Global Cement and Concrete Association, GCCA) “Getting the Numbers Right” (GNR) database. Focussing on the sustainability reports of 25 GCCA members, for average kiln thermal energy consumption he reported progress from 3748MJ/t in 2000 to 3472MJ/t in 2017 but little change since 2012.

The GCCA website displays virtually the same numbers for world weighted average kiln thermal energy consumption covering an estimated 21 per cent of global clinker production. This confirms the lack of progress on kiln thermal energy consumption reported by Mr O’Brien from his smaller set of 25 GCCA members.

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