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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-631
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-631
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Aug 2020

24 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Carbon and air pollutant emissions from China's cement industry 1990–2015: trends, evolution of technologies and drivers

Jun Liu1,, Dan Tong1,, Yixuan Zheng1, Jing Cheng1, Xinying Qin2, Qinren Shi2, Liu Yan1, Yu Lei3, and Qiang Zhang1 Jun Liu et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modelling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China
  • 2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China
  • 3Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012, People's Republic of China
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. China is the largest cement producer and consumer in the world. Cement manufacturing is highly energy-intensive, and is one of the major contributors to carbon dioxide (CO2) and air pollutant emissions, which threatens climate mitigation and air quality improvement. In this study, we investigated the decadal changes of carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions for the period of 1990–2015, based on intensive unit-based information on activity rates, production capacity, operation status, and control technologies, which improved the accuracy of the cement emissions in China. We found that, from 1990 to 2015, accompanied by a 10.9-fold increase in cement production, CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions from China's cement industry increased by 626 %, 59 %, and 658 %, whereas CO, PM2.5 and PM10 emissions decreased by 9 %, 66 %, and 63 %, respectively. In the 1990s, driven by the rapid growth of cement production, CO2 and air pollutant emissions increased constantly. Then, the production technology innovation of replacing traditional shaft kilns with the new precalciner kilns in the 2000s markedly reduced SO2, CO and PM emissions from the cement industry. Since 2010, the growing trend of emissions has been further curbed by a combination of measures, including promoting large-scale precalciner production lines and phasing out small ones, upgrading emission standards, installing low-NOx burners (LNB) and selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR) to reduce NOx emissions, as well as adopting more advanced particulate matter control technologies. Our study highlighted the effectiveness of advanced technologies on air pollutant emission control, however, CO2 emissions from China's cement industry kept growing throughout the period, posing challenges to future carbon emission mitigation in China.

Jun Liu et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we investigated the decadal changes of carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions in China's cement industry for the period of 1990–2015, based on intensive unit-based information. We found that, from 1990 to 2015, accompanied by a 10.9-fold increase in cement production, CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions from China's cement industry increased by 626 %, 59 %, and 658 %, whereas CO, PM2.5 and PM10 emissions decreased by 9 %, 66 %, and 63 %, respectively.
In this study, we investigated the decadal changes of carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions...
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