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Improving the CO2 performance of cement, part I: Utilizing life-cycle assessment and key performance indicators to assess development within the cement industry
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6736-6125
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8323-881X
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 98, 272-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cement is a vital and commonly used construction material that requires large amounts of resources and the manufacture of which causes significant environmental impact. However, there are many different types of cement products, roughly ranging from traditional products with rather linear resource flows to more synergistic alternatives where industrial byproducts are utilized to a large extent. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies indicate the synergistic products are favorable from an environmental perspective.

In co-operation with the global cement producing company CEMEX a research project has been carried out to contribute to a better understanding of the CO2 performance of different ways of producing cement, and different cement products. The focus has been on Cluster West, which is a cement production cluster consisting of three plants in Germany.

This paper is the first in a series of three, all of which are included in this special issue. It has two main aims. The first is to carry out an attributional LCA and compare three different cement products produced in both linear and synergistic production setups. This has been done for cradle to gate, focusing on CO2-eq emissions for Cluster West. The second aim of this part is to develop and test a simplified LCA model for this production cluster, with the intention to be able to compare different versions of the production system based on the information of a few parameters.

The attributional LCA showed that cement products that contain a large proportion of byproducts, in this case, ground granulated blast furnace slag from the iron and steel industry, had the lowest unit emissions of CO2-eq. The difference between the lowest emission product (CEM III/B) and the highest (CEM I) was about 66% per tonne. A simplified LCA model based on six key performance indicators, instead of approximately 50 parameters for the attributional LCA, was established. It showed that Cluster West currently emits about 45% less CO2-eq per tonne of average product compared to 1997. The simplified LCA model can be used effectively to model future changes of both plants and products (which is further discussed in part II and part III).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 98, 272-281 p.
Keyword [en]
Cement production, Life Cycle Assessment, CO2 emissions, Modeling Performance indicators
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105939DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.083ISI: 000356194300028OAI: diva2:712462
Available from: 2014-04-15 Created: 2014-04-15 Last updated: 2016-08-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Industrial Ecology and Development of Production Systems: Analysis of the CO2  Footprint of Cement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Industrial Ecology and Development of Production Systems: Analysis of the CO2  Footprint of Cement
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 54 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1660
industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, industrial development, life cycle assessment, multi-criteria assessment, CO2 footprint, cement
National Category
Environmental Management Environmental Engineering
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105942 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-105942 (DOI)LIU-TEK-LIC-2014:93 (Local ID)978-91-7519-331-1 (ISBN)LIU-TEK-LIC-2014:93 (Archive number)LIU-TEK-LIC-2014:93 (OAI)
2014-04-29, A34, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-04-15 Created: 2014-04-15 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved
2. Systems Analysis for Eco-Industrial Development: Applied on Cement and Biogas Production Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems Analysis for Eco-Industrial Development: Applied on Cement and Biogas Production Systems
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Systemanalys för ekoindustriell utveckling : tillämpadpå cement och biogas produktion
Abstract [en]

Our industrial systems are not sustainable—a major challenge which demands several types of responses. Eco-industrial development can be seen as such a response, with the goal to establish industrial systems that are both ecological and economical. Industrial Ecology is another closely related response. It is based on the idea that natural systems can be used to understand how to design sustainable industrial systems, for example, by shifting from linear industrial processes to cyclic systems, where waste streams can be avoided or minimized through utilization as raw materials for other processes. In this thesis, the possible contributions of industrial ecology/symbiosis to eco-industrial development are investigated through the use of systems analysis approaches. Two systems analysis methods are used: life-cycle assessment and multi-criteria analysis. These methods are applied on two types of industrial systems: cement and biogas.

Cement is among the most used materials in the world with extensive resource consumption and environmental impact, manifested for example by the high levels of CO2 emissions. Multi-criteria analysis was used to identify, classify, and assess different measures to improve the climate performance of cement production, while life-cycle assessment was employed to quantify the CO2 emissions. Combined, multi-criteria analysis and life-cycle assessment were used for an integrated assessment of different eco-industrial development paths. Most of the feasible and resource-efficient improvement measures were related to utilization of secondary resources, for example minimizing the clinker content of the cement by replacing it with by-products from steel and iron manufacturing, or using refuse-derived fuels. Effective utilization of these secondary raw materials and fuels can be achieved through industrial symbiosis.

Biogas is viewed as part of a larger transition towards a bio-based economy where resources—bio-materials and bio-energy—are used in a cascading, circular, and renewable manner. Multi-criteria analysis was used to assess the feasibility and resource efficiency of using different types of biomass as feedstock for biogas and biofertilizer production. In addition to aspects such as renewable energy and nutrient recycling, cost efficiency, institutional conditions, environmental performance, the potential per unit, and the overall potential were considered. In another study, life-cycle assessment was used to analyze the environmental performance of biogas production from source-sorted food waste using a dry digestion process. The study showed that the performance of this dry process is superior to most of the existing wet biogas processes in Sweden. The critical sources of uncertainty and their impact on the overall performance of the system were analyzed. Factors influencing methane production, as well as processes related to soil after the digestate is applied as biofertilizer on land, have the greatest influence on the performance of these systems.

For both cement and biogas systems industrial symbiosis involving collaboration and better utilization of local/regional secondary resources, can result in resource-efficient eco-industrial development. Life-cycle assessment and multi-criteria approaches can serve as two complementary methods for investigating the feasibility, potential, and resource efficiency of different development paths. These approaches can provide input into decision-making processes and lead to more informed decisions.

Abstract [sv]

Våra industriella system är inte hållbara—en stor utmaning som kräver olika typer av åtgärder. Ekoindustriell utveckling kan betraktas som en sådan åtgärd, eller respons, med avsikten att etablera industriella system som både är sunda ekonomiskt och ekologiskt. Industriell ekologi är en annan och närbesläktad respons, baserad på idén att naturliga system kan användas som förebilder, för att förstå hur hållbara industriella system kan designas. Det kan tillexempel handla om ett skifte från linjära industriella processer till cykliska, där avfallsströmmar kan undvikas eller minimeras genom att de omvandlas till råvaror för andra processer. I den här avhandlingen undersöks om och hur industriell ekologi/symbios kan bidra till fortsatt ekoindustriell utveckling, genom användning av systemanalysmetoder. Två typer av industriella system står i fokus: cement- och biogasproduktion. Vidare används två typer av miljösystemanalytiska metoder: livscykelanalys och multikriterieanalys.

Cement är ett av världens mest använda material och är förknippat med omfattande resursanvändning och stor miljöpåverkan, exempelvis i form av höga utsläpp av koldioxid. Multikriterieanalys användes för att identifiera, klassificera och bedöma ett flertal förbättringsåtgärder som kan ge bättre klimatprestanda. Livscykelanalys användes för att kvantifiera utsläppen av koldioxid. Kombinerade användes multikriterieanalys och livscykelanalys för en form av integrerad bedömning av olika ekoindustriella utvecklingsvägar för cementindustrin. De flesta förbättringsåtgärderna som bedömdes vara genförbara och resurseffektiva var kopplade till användning av sekundära resurser, exempelvis i form av att mängden cementklinker minimerades och ersattes av restprodukter från järn- och stålindustrin samt att  avfall användes som bränsle. Effektiv användning av den här typen av sekundära material kan realiseras genom industriell symbios.

Biogas ses som en del i en större omställning i riktning mot en biobaserad ekonomi, där biomaterial och bioenergi används i kaskadsystem —förnyelsebart och cirkulärt. Multikriterieanalys tillämpades för att utvärdera genomförbarhet och resurseffektivitet för olika substrat till biogas- och biogödselproduktion. Aspekter avseende förnyelsebar energi och näringscirkulering beaktades, även kostnadseffektivitet, sociala och institutionella förutsättningar, miljöprestanda, potentialen per enhet samt potentialen totalt. I en annan studie användes livscykelanalys för att studera miljöprestandan för biogasproduktion baserad på utsorterat matavfall i en torr rötningsprocess. Studien visade att den torra processen hade bättre eller likvärdig prestanda jämfört med många av de våta processer som används för motsvarande ändamål i Sverige. Kritiska källor till osäkerheter och deraspåverkan på den totala prestandan för systemet analyserades. Störst betydelse hade de faktorer som påverkar metanproduktionen samt processer i jorden/marken efter att digestatet lagts ut som biogödsel.

Både för cement och biogassystem kan industriell symbios, som involverar samverkan mellan lokala/regionala aktörer och användning av sekundära resurser, leda till resurseffektiv ekoindustriell utveckling. Livscykelanalys och multikriterieanalys kan användas som två kompletterade metodologiska approacher för att undersöka genomförbarhet, potential och resurseffektivitet för olika utvecklingsvägar. Dessa metoder kan bidra till beslutsfattandet och stödja mer välgrundade beslut.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 125 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1780
industrial ecology, eco-industrial development, multi-criteria analysis, life-cycle assessment, MCA, LCA, uncertainty management, systems analysis, industrial symbiosis, cement, biogas, cement production, biogas solutions
National Category
Environmental Management
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130782 (URN)9789176857083 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-09, ACAS, A-Building, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 14:22 (English)
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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