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The LCA of portland cement production in China

  • Chen LiEmail author
  • Suping CuiEmail author
  • Zuoren Nie
  • Xianzheng Gong
  • Zhihong Wang
  • Norihiro Itsubo
REGIONAL TOPICS FROM JAPAN

Abstract

Purpose

Cement production is associated with a considerable environmental load, which needs to be fully understood before effective measures can be taken. The existing literature did not give detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) study of China and had limited potential for investigating how best available techniques (BATs) would provide a maximum benefit when they are applied in China. Japan was selected as a good example to achieve better environmental performance of cement production. We identified potentials for reducing emissions and saving energy and natural resources in Chinese cement industry through the comparative analysis.

Methods

This paper follows the principal of Life Cycle Assessment and International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD). The functional units are “1 t of portland cement” and with 42.5 MPa of strength grade. The input (limestone, sandstone, ferrous tailings, coal, and electricity) and output (CO2 from limestone decomposition and coal combustion, NOx, PM, and SO2) of cement manufacturing were calculated by use of on-site measurements, calculation by estimated coefficients, and derivation by mass and heat balance principle. The direct (cement manufacturing) and indirect (electricity production) LCI are added to be total LCI results (cement production). The impact categories of global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), photochemical oxidant formation potential (POCP), and human toxicity potential (HTP) are used to calculate environmental impact.

Results and discussion

Only in GWP of cement manufacturing China has advantage. Japanese cement industry shows remarkable superiorities in the environmental impacts of AP, POCP, HTP, and EP due to advanced technologies. SO2 emissions make the corresponding AP and HTP. PM emissions result in part of HTP. The NOx emissions are the major contributors of POCP, AP, EP, and HTP in China. China emits fewer CO2 emissions (2.09 %) in cement manufacturing than Japan but finally makes higher total GWP than Japan due to more GWP of electricity generation in power stations. The waste heat recovery technology can save electricity but bring more coal use and CO2 emissions. The alternative fuel and raw materials usage and denitration and de-dust technologies can relieve the environmental load. Using the functional unit with the strength grade, the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are affected.

Conclusions

LCA study allows a clear understanding from the view of total environmental impact rather than by the gross domestic product (GDP) unit from an economic development perspective. In an LCA study, the power generation should be considered in the life cycle of cement production.

Keywords

Air pollution Alternative fuels and raw materials (AFRs) Best available techniques (BATs) Denitration (deNOx) Energy saving NSP (new suspension preheater) Waste heat recovery 

Abbreviations

AFRs

Alternative fuels and raw materials

AP

Acidification potential

BATs

Best available techniques

CCA

China cement association

cl

Clinker

CNMLCA

China Centre of National Material Life Cycle Assessment

DCS

Distributed control system

ELCD

European Reference Life Cycle Database

EP

Eutrophication potential

EPD

Environmental product declaration

ESP

Electrostatic precipitator

GDP

Gross domestic product

GWP

Global warming potential

HTP

Human toxicity potential

JCA

Japanese Cement Association

LCI

Life cycle inventory

LCIA

Life cycle impact assessment

LNB

Low-NOx burner

MSC

Multistage combustion

NSP

New suspension preheater

POCP

Photochemical oxidant formation potential

SCR

Selective catalytic reduction

SNCR

Selective noncatalytic reduction

XRD

X-ray diffraction analysis

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is financially supported by the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (No. 2011BAE29B00). China National “863” Program (No. 2013AA031602), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 2141001). Thanks to JCA (Japanese Cement Association) for providing data.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and Engineering, China Centre of National Material Life Cycle Assessment (CNMLCA)Beijing University of Technology (BJUT)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Information StudiesTokyo City University, Yokohama CampusYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.China Cement AssociationBeijingChina

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