Change in cement formulation promises to reduce emissions

Members of the Portland Cement Association announced the latest effort by their industry to significantly reduce emissions and provide key environmental benefits by proposing a change in the manufacture of portland cement. Tom Chizmadia, PCA board member and chairman of the association’s Environment and Energy Committee, outlined PCA’s proposal to allow for the inclusion of up to 5 percent ground limestone in the portland cement standard designated as ASTM C 150.

Speaking to the press gathered at the Greenbuild Conference and Exposition, Chizmadia underlined the importance of this change: “Such reductions could add significantly to the environmental gains already achieved by the cement industry, and are clearly in line with the nation’s global climate policy goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission intensities.” Chizmadia added, “With the addition of ground limestone, our industry can provide the same quality product as we do under current ASTM standards.”

The proposed change would bring U.S. standards into harmony with those used in both Europe and Canada, where the addition of limestone has been used successfully for decades. The environmental benefits include a reduction in use of raw materials, reduced energy consumption, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide would be reduced by approximately 2.6 percent per ton of product produced.

Chizmadia reinforced the cement industry’s commitment to environmental progress by summarizing a threepart program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per ton of product by 10 percent between 1990 and 2020. The plan addresses the areas of manufacturing, product formulation and product application.

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