As the Indian cement industry aims to compete even further in international markets, and as the government tightens emission regulations, how can the road towards sustainability benefit manufacturers?

This article originally appeared in ICCM 44. Click on the image to read the full article

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As one of the most widely used and traded commodities at a global scale, cement is a cornerstone of the modern world. However, it has a steep cost environmentally, as its production releases heavy amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. A research report from Robbie M. Andrew for the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in 2017 estimates that worldwide cement production is responsible for up to five percent of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions, excluding land-use change, and also the third largest cause source of emissions, after fossil fuels and deforestation.

Scientists and industry both continue to look into new solutions in order to improve emissions, either in technology, energy efficiency, product mix, and others. In India, the arising matter is even more pressing, especially as pollution levels around key manufacturing hubs such as New Delhi raise to concerning levels, prompting the government and the Supreme Court to enforce new regulation targeting industries. A preemptive strike might be the best chance for the industry to guard itself against future damaging regulations, and adopt more environmentally friendly policies and technology. This is especially pressing considering the Indian cement industry is one of the largest global cement producers, being estimated to reach a cement capacity of 440 million tons by the end of 2018, according to CW Research’s latest Global Volume Forecast Report.

 

Usage of supplementary cementitious materials and carbon capture

Fly ash has long been a problem in India’s move towards the extension of its energy grid, which heavily relies on coal. The government decided to intervene first in 1999, pushing forward a program that advocated for the coal burning byproduct to be used in a series of industrial manufacturing processes, including cement and concrete making (...)

 

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