Life cycle assessment of the production of cement: A Brazilian case study


The cement industry is facing important challenges regarding the reduction of raw materials and energy demands, and CO2 emissions. Although many advances have been reached in the last decades through technology improvements, the use of alternative materials and fuels still can be further explored. The Brazilian cement industry is considered energetically efficient. Nevertheless, there are only few scientific studies regarding environmental concerns in the cement production in Brazil. This paper aims to analyze the environmental impacts of the Brazilian cement industry, such as resource depletion and toxicity. The life cycle assessment was used as a methoddlogy to estimate impacts on climate change, ozone depletion, photochemical oxidant formation, particulate matter, terrestrial acidification, freshwater and marine eutrophication, metal and fossil depletion and human, terrestrial, freshwater and marine toxicity. Results clearly show that the transportation step has the largest contribution to those impacts, followed by fossil fuels production and clinkering. Together, these steps are responsible for more than 70% of CO2 equivalent and 90% of CFC-11 equivalent Thus, the replacement of fossil fuels by alternative fuels can be an option to decrease impacts regarding fossil fuels consumption and atmospheric emissions from the kiln. However, the distances from the source of these alternative fuels to the plant must be taken into account. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology


Stafford, FN; Raupp-Pereira, F; Labrincha, JA; Hotza, D

our authors


The authors acknowledge the cement factory and the financial support from the Brazilian funding agencies CNPq (CNPq 400569/2013-2) and CAPES (CAPES - PROEX).

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