Who Will Tackle the Cows, Steel and Cement CO2 Challenges?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Do you know that three industrial sectors generate 40% of global CO2 emissions?

Cement and Steel production together with Agriculture are the biggest contributors. The video below from Bloomberg Green TV explains why.

For agriculture, a mix of new food consumption habits and different cultivation methods is needed, as well as some meat-"engineering".

For steel, it is key to increase the recycling rate as said in the video. However, it is not so easy to implement, because the economic incentives are variable. Indeed, when the demand of steel goods is low, steel market prices go down. As a collateral effect, the collection of scrap metal becomes less profitable and less recycled steel is made available for remelt into new steel production. On the positive side, there are new technologies emerging to produce steel with different type of energy that would generate less CO2 emissions.

Regarding cement, I believe there is a wide field of possibilities to investigate. Of course one can think about new cement formulas that would enable to produce it with less energy consumption. Alternative construction materials such as wood could be used, although they also have their own circularity challenges. The German venture-backed startup Alcemy is for instance helping to optimise cement production with AI-powered quality predictions which avoid overheating and hence reduces CO2 emissions. Others are exploring how to recover and separate left-over building materials during the construction step or at the end of life stage of a construction (building, road, etc.).

Stay posted for new ideas to come in this field!

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