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Concrete and cement industry aims to be net negative by 2050

Published October 21, 2020

Concrete and cement industry aims to be net negative by 2050

UK Concrete has launched a roadmap for the UK’s concrete and cement industry to become net negative by 2050.

The sector is able to meet its net zero targets through decarbonised electricity and transport networks, fuel switching, greater use of low-carbon cements and concretes, and the use of Carbon Capture, Use or Storage (CCUS) technology for cement manufacture.

Concrete has natural properties that allow it absorb carbon dioxide as well as thermal properties that help reduce operational emissions in buildings, and the industry will use the properties to its advantage toward achieving net negative emissions by 2050.

The concrete and cement industry has claimed that their direct and indirect emissions are 53% lower than 1990 thanks to joint effort in facilitating fuel switching, changes in product formulation, and energy efficiency, including plant rationalization.

With the help of partial funding from BEIS, the Mineral Products Association (MPA), of which UK Concrete is part, is looking to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen and plasma technologies in place of fossil fuels in cement and lime production as a way of reducing carbon emissions.

CCUS is especially vital as it would account for 61% of the carbon savings, so the industry is also seeking financial support from the government for the development of the technology to make it more viable and affordable.