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Sources of Carbon dioxide- Industry

Cement Production | Lime Production | Iron and Steel


Carbon dioxide emissions arising from industrial processes are substantial. If we ignore the carbon dioxide emissions associated with industrial energy use, processes such as cement and lime production have an additional carbon dioxide emission inherent to them.

The future trading of carbon credits and the likely increasing financial cost of greenhouse gas emissions to individual companies should help promote substantial cuts in incidental carbon dioxide emissions from industry through improved efficiency and greenhouse gas capture.

Cement Production

Carbon dioxide is produced in cement making as a result of the production of a process ingredient called 'Clinker'. Clinker is made when limestone is heated so as to produce lime, but substantial amounts of carbon dioxide are also formed during this reaction. The final amount of carbon dioxide produced varies depending the type of cement being made. Globally, this source of carbon dioxide is estimated to amount to 100 million tonnes of carbon emission to the atmosphere each year.

Lime Production

Like cement production, the industrial lime production results in carbon dioxide emission when limestone is heated up. As well as straightforward 'quicklime' production, a second type of lime called 'dolomitic' quick lime is also produced using a mixture of limestone and magnesium carbonate. Quicklime production is thought to result in about 800kg of carbon dioxide per tonne, while dolomitic quicklime produces slightly more at about 900kg per tonne.

Iron and Steel

Much of the carbon dioxide arising from iron production comes directly from the burning of coke or charcoal as fuel and reductant for the blast furnace. Yet more carbon dioxide is produced when limestone is added to the furnace to act as a flux. Steel production essentially involves the reduction of the amount of carbon in the iron and this refining process again produces some carbon dioxide.

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