(637b) Sustainability Assessment of Cement Manufacturing Processes Based on Emergy and Ecological Footprint Analysis
Due to its high environmental impact and energy intensive production, the cement industry needs to adopt more energy efficient technologies to reduce its demand for fossil fuels and impact on the environment. Bearing in mind that cement is the most widely used material for housing and modern infrastructure, the aim of this paper is to analyze the Emergy and Ecological Footprint of different cement manufacturing processes for a particular cement plant. There are several mitigation measures that can be incorporated in the cement manufacturing process to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and consequently reduce the CO2 emissions. The mitigation measures considered in this paper were the use of alternative fuels and a more energy efficient kiln process. In order to estimate the sustainability effect of the aforementioned measures, Emergy and Ecological Footprint were calculated for four different scenarios. The results show that Emergy, due to the high input mass of raw material needed for clinker production, stays at about the same level. However, for the Ecological Footprint, the results show that by combining the use of alternative fuels together with a more energy efficient kiln process, the environmental impact of the cement manufacturing process can be lowered.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.