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Building green: new technologies to create less polluting cement

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Wall Street Journal or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The rising demand for housing worldwide is conflicting with global efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions
• Concrete and cement, fundamental to construction, are major culprits of pollution, accounting for roughly 7% of all carbon emissions.

🔭 The context: The cement production process has been largely unchanged for millennia 
• It involves producing clinker by heating limestone and clay to high temperatures
• The majority of emissions from this process come from producing this clinker, with a significant part also coming from the combustion of fuels, typically coal, to generate the heat needed

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: As 75% of infrastructure for 2050 remains unbuilt, the environmental impact of construction materials is vital
• The high carbon emissions from cement production underscore the urgency for greener alternatives

⏭️ What's next: To reduce the carbon footprint in cement production, companies are adopting innovative strategies
• Carbon Re utilizes AI to enhance fuel efficiency
• Cemex and Synhelion are transitioning to solar energy for clinker production
• Synhelion and Heidelberg Materials focus on carbon capture techniques
• Partanna, from Delaware, is pioneering coal-free cement production methods

💬 One quote: “A 2% of fuel saving translates to tens of thousands of tons of carbon per plant being saved” (Aidan O’Sullivan, co-founder of Carbon Re)

📈 One stat: Cement production is responsible for roughly 7% of all global carbon emissions, making it one of the most carbon-intensive industrial sectors

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