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The Portland Cement Association urges strong federal support for accelerating industrial decarbonisation technologies

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

In comments submitted to the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), the Portland Cement Association (PCA) stated that federal policy and support is vital to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can decarbonise the US industrial sector.

In its comments, PCA noted that it shares the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 through its own Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, which lays out a pathway to achieve this across the cement-concrete-construction value chain by 2050.

The comments also state that without strong federal support, AMO’s timeline to reach carbon neutrality across industry is unrealistic due to the significant technical, legal and economic challenges regarding technologies like carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), and others including hydrogen fuel and kiln electrification.

“Federal policy must accelerate the significant technology, funding, and market innovation needed for rapid decarbonisation while preserving economic growth and international competitiveness,” said Sean O’Neill, senior vice president of government affairs at PCA. “The adoption of CCUS is key to achieving deep decarbonisation in the cement industry.”

PCA also noted that adopting CCUS technologies is key to achieving deep decarbonisation in the cement industry:

CCUS would capture the 60% of cement sector emissions that come from converting limestone to clinker, the key ingredient in cement.

With the right federal and state policies, CCUS could become scalable within 10 years – but infrastructure, policy, permitting and funding challenges remain. 45Q tax credit and other tax incentive reforms, and the use of Department of Energy loan programmes, would accelerate early investment and adoption of CCUS.

The PCA comments also state that hydrogen fuels and kiln electrification present potentially transformative emissions reduction technologies, but neither measure will be viable for at least 15 – 20 years:

Hydrogen remains very expensive and there is little current infrastructure for the transport and storage of hydrogen.

More research and development is needed to evaluate the efficacy of kiln electrification as a decarbonisation measure, such as refining modelling assumptions, integrating different modelling frameworks, and conducting sensitivity analysis on a wide range on scenarios.

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