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Addressing Emissions From Industry: Creating GREENER and CLEANER Concrete and Steel


Finding ways to lower the carbon footprint of concrete and steel production would address around 16% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Production of cement (cement is the main ingredient in concrete) accounts for about 8% of CO2 emissions worldwide. Steel production also represents around 8% of the world's CO2 emissions. There are a few readily available techniques and technologies that reduce emissions from concrete and steel, as well as two emerging low carbon technologies.

The cement and concrete industry is one of the most neglected in the fight against climate change. It's responsible for about 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than double those from flying or shipping.  FROM  -

Steelmaking is highly emission-intensive and the nearly 2 billion tonnes of steel produced every year generate around 8% of global CO2 emissions.

But current process technologies are not in sync with the Paris Agreement’s commitments and objectives. Process emissions must fall by at least 30% by 2030 to bring the sector in line with a 2050 net-zero trajectory.  FROM  -

Below is a list of strategies to lower the carbon footprint of construction with the use of low carbon options for conventional industrial concrete and steel production>>>

Low Carbon Solutions for Industry and Construction

There are already a few viable low carbon concrete and steel production measures and technologies to lower the carbon footprint of production processes for traditional building construction. Additionally, there are two emerging low carbon technologies. Here are a few readily available measures, and also the two emerging technologies, for low carbon concrete and steel>>>


  • London Olympic Stadium

    The use of recycled building materials. By using recycled concrete and steel the carbon footprint of construction can be greatly reduced. This low carbon construction strategy has been around for a while. The London Summer Olympics represented an exemplary effort to create vast areas of buildings with low carbon footprints, in part by using the strategy of using recycled building materials.


  • Substituting the clinker used in concrete production with industrial by-product materials like blast furnace slag and fly ash. Clinker substitutes can lower the carbon footprint of cement production and avoid the carbon emissions generated in the chemical reaction of converting limestone to clinker. [See this link for a list of more clinker substitutes].



  • electric arc furnace

    The use of electric arc furnaces (EAF) to produce low carbon steel. This production technique for steel can lower carbon emissions from steel by up to 87%. EAFs use electricity for power, often use steel scrap and other recycled steels, and are also more efficient than conventional blast furnaces.

  • In the future, the emerging technology of clean hydrogen promises to lower the carbon footprint of steel even further, if EAFs successfully evolve to be fueled by low carbon hydrogen. Another strategy for producing low carbon steel is to combine steel production with carbon capture, which, like hydrogen, is an emerging clean energy technology.


  • In the future, clean hydrogen might be able to be used to fuel the low carbon concrete production process. However, the above low carbon strategies will still be needed to manage the CO2 emissions generated through the actual chemical reactions in the cement production process.

The low carbon construction techniques listed above are growing in use worldwide. For example, recycled concrete is used in over 30% of construction projects globally. The use of electric arc furnaces has grown to over a quarter of global steel production. The use of carbon capture and/ or hydrogen in steel and cement production are still technologies that need further research, development, and deployment (RD&D) to become commercially viable. Read more about capturing the carbon created in the concrete and steel production processes, and getting power for the production processes from hydrogen (as well as other low carbon production strategies), here>>> 

Going net zero for cement and steel - Nature

Here are a few examples of companies using innovative technologies to produce cement and steel with reduced emissions:

Breakthroughs are helping even cement and steel go electric

"Over the past few years a series of innovations are enabling the use of clean electricity to make cement and steel instead. The result is typically: no greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy use, lower waste production, and often no fire at all."  FROM -

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