Focus: Industrial Manufacturing
Location: Sanming, China
Cement is the most widely used construction material in the world. When mixed with water and aggregate (like sand or gravel), concrete is formed. However, due to the significant amounts of energy and raw materials used, cement manufacturing has a big carbon footprint. Today, the construction industry produces over three tons of concrete per person each year, contributing 5% of total global carbon emissions. China, with its booming construction industry, is responsible for 3% alone. “The rule of thumb is that for every ton of cement you make, one ton of CO2 is produced” explains Marios Soutsos, who studies concrete at the University of Liverpool. How, then, can the construction industry reduce the environmental impact of cement?
The answer may lie in Xinlu Village, Sanming, in the Fujian province of China. Here, the electricity used by the Fujian Jinniu Cement Limited Company was supplied by East China Grid from the burning of fossil fuels. Additionally, most of it was lost as waste heat. In search of energy efficiency, Fujian Jinniu has built a 10 MW waste heat recovery (WHR) plant for its clinker production lines, including four heat recovery boilers and one condensing turbine generator unit. Each year, the WHR plant will generate 67,500 MWh of electricity while cutting water use by 70%. In addition, by displacing grid electricity from coal, the WHR plant will help conserve natural resources and avoid the release of 485,950 tons of carbon over ten years.
Interestingly, this concrete thinking can be seen at clinker production lines across the nation. China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the cement industry has targeted a WHR penetration rate of 65% by 2015. Not only will this strengthen China’s position as a world leader in WHR, but it also has the potential to transform cement industries in the rest of Asia and Latin America. Clearly, this won’t be a secret for very long.
Environmental Impact: Energy recovery, reduced water use & avoided use of fossil fuels, including avoided emission of GHGs and harmful substances
Measurement: Fujian Jinniu Cement Co., Ltd.
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