Prospects for emissions reduction in the UK cement sector

Paul Griffin, Geoff Hammond, Jonathan Norman

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The UK cement sector was responsible for around 7 Mt of carbon dioxide emissions in 2010. These emissions were due to direct fuel use, the chemical reactions that occur as part of the production process, and electricity use (leading to indirect emissions). Historical trends show that the sector has made considerable reductions in its emissions. This was due to a combination of reduced output, the substitution of emissions-intensive clinker, improved efficiency and fuel switching. The prospects for reductions in the specific energy use and emissions were explored under a range of scenarios out to 2050. Further efficiency improvements were found to be limited. There is potential for additional clinker substitution and fuel switching – although such options are not without their difficulties. The use of carbon capture and storage technology, and alternative (low carbon) cements could lead to larger reductions in specific emissions, but the widescale use of these options is unproven. The approach taken in analysing the cement sector is an example of the bottom-up analysis of the UK industrial sector that has been undertaken in order to produce a database of industrial energy use and improvement potential aimed at meeting the modelling needs of policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-161
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • energy conservation
  • concrete technology & manufacture
  • sustainability


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