Biomass to decarbonize cement production ?
This analysis was carried out within the cement Sectorial Transition Plan (ADEME project within Finance ClimAct) and presented during the IEA Bioenergy webinar on ” Contribution of sustainable biomass and bioenergy in INDUSTRY TRANSITIONS towards a circular economy” on October 19-20, 2020.
Because of historical practices, the subject of bioenergy in the cement industry is closely related to the use of waste as substitution fuels. The sector has been processing different types of waste for a long time for its energy needs, some of which can contain a certain fraction of biogenic carbon. However, changing the thermal mix of the cement fleet can only be considered as one component of the decarbonization strategy.
In fact, energy-related emissions only represent about one third of the emissions from the cement industry (two third is related to the limestone calcination process) and most waste fuels still contain a high fraction of fossil carbon. Nevertheless, the use of waste fuels in this sector has been steadily increasing over the last ten years, mainly driven by favourable economic conditions and a growing importance of climate issues across all industry sectors.
Moreover, waste recovery and treatment is an essential ingredient of the circular economy, which is also high on the environmental agenda. For that purpose, the cement production process has perfect features for processing all types of waste (even hazardous waste): high temperatures (flame of 2000°C), long exposure and retention time in the kiln; most ashes and residues are recycled into the raw meal and incorporated into the clinker matrix.
Link to video.
Further information on the IEA Bioenergy webinar ” Contribution of sustainable biomass and bioenergy in INDUSTRY TRANSITIONS towards a circular economy” on October 19-20, 2020.