A technology-driven pathway to net-zero carbon emissions for China's cement industry

Chang Tan, Xiang Yu*, Yuru Guan

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper aims to assess the emission reduction potential of combined mitigation technologies in China's cement industry, thus transitioning towards carbon neutrality through a suitable technology portfolio and exploring a low-carbon pathway. The G-LEAP model is constructed for future carbon emission projection, incorporating the cement demand projection and technology application. The pathways based on different technology portfolios are developed to estimate the CO2 emission trajectory of China's cement industry. We maximize the utilization of currently available technologies and assume a high level of innovative technology diffusion rate in the integrated mitigation pathway to explore the maximum abatement potential of the cement industry. The result shows that short-term mitigation mainly relies on improving energy efficiency and alternative low-carbon fuels, which would contribute 9–12% and 17–22% of the cumulative emissions reduction in the integrated mitigation pathway compared to a frozen scenario. Alternative clinkers can significantly reduce process-related emissions, but the potential is determined by the availability of raw materials, which would contribute 30–39% of the cumulative emission reduction. Post- and oxygen-combustion capture is expected to be deployed by 2030 and contribute about 28–44% to cumulative emission reduction. The technology portfolio in the integrated mitigation pathway would reduce China's cement CO2 emissions by 63–73% compared to the frozen scenario, and the remainder of CO2 emission would be 300–400 Mt in 2060, which will need the technological innovation and new growth horizons, such as carbon sink approaches or carbon trading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119804
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2022


  • Carbon neutrality
  • Cement industry
  • Low carbon technology

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