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Decarbonising the cement sector: A bottom-up model for optimising carbon capture application in the UK

ABSTRACT

Industrial processes such as Portland cement manufacture produce a large proportion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and significantly reducing their emissions could be difficult or expensive without carbon capture and storage. This paper explores the idea of synchronising shutdowns for carbon capture and storage installation with major shutdowns required to refurbish major process units at industrial sites. It develops a detailed bottom-up model for the first time and applies it to the United Kingdom's cement industry. This research demonstrates that several policy and technology risks are not identified by the top-down models and it highlights the importance of reducing shut-down times for capture plant construction. Failure to do so could increase installation costs by around 10 per cent. This type of approach, which is complementary to top-down modelling, and the lessons learned from it can be applied to other capital- and energy-intensive industries such as primary steel production. It provides important information about what actions should be prioritised to ensure that carbon capture and storage can be applied without extra unnecessary shutdowns which would increase the overall cost of carbon dioxide mitigation and could delay action, increasing cumulative emissions as well.

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