Industrial Ecology and Development of Production Systems Analysis of the CO2 Footprint of Cement
Abstract: This research is an attempt to create a comprehensive assessment framework for identifying and assessing potential improvement options of cement production systems.From an environmental systems analysis perspective, this study provides both an empirical account and a methodological approach for quantifying the CO2 footprint of a cement production system. An attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed to analyze the CO2 footprint of several products of a cement production system in Germany which consists of three dierent plants. Based on the results of the LCA study, six key performance indicators are dened as the basis for a simplied LCA model. This model is used to quantify the CO2 footprint of dierent versions of the cement production system.In order to identify potential improvement options, a framework for Multi-Criteria Assessment (MCA) is developed. The search and classication guideline of this framework is based on the concepts of Cleaner Production, Industrial Ecology, and Industrial Symbiosis. It allows systematic identication and classication of potential improvement options. In addition, it can be used for feasibility and applicability evaluation of dierent options. This MCA is applied both on a generic level, reecting the future landscape of the industry, and on a production organization level re ecting the most applicable possibilities for change. Based on this assessment a few appropriate futureoriented scenarios for the studied cement production system are constructed. The simplied LCA model is used to quantify the CO2 footprint of the production system for each scenario.By integrating Life Cycle Assessment and Multi-Criteria Assessment approaches, this study provides a comprehensive assessment method for identifying suitable industrial developments and quantifying the CO2 footprint improvements that might be achieved by their implementation.The results of this study emphasis, although by utilizing alternative fuels and more ecient production facility, it is possible to improve the CO2 footprint of clinker, radical improvements can be achieved on the portfolio level. Compared to Portland cement, very high reduction of CO2 footprint can be achieved if clinker is replaced with low carbon alternatives, such as Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GBFS) which are the by-products of other industrial production. Benchmarking a cement production system by its portfolio product is therefore a more reasonable approach, compared to focusing on the performance of its clinker production.This study showed that Industrial Symbiosis, that is, over the fence initiatives for material and energy exchanges and collaboration with nontraditional partners, are relevant to cement industry. However, the contingent nature of these strategies should always be noted, because the mere exercise of such activities may not lead to a more resource ecient production system. Therefore, in search for potential improvements, it is important to keep the search horizon as wide as possible, however, assess the potential improvements in each particular case. The comprehensive framework developed and applied in this research is an attempt in this direction.
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