PCA offers feds an industry decarbonization reality check

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Holcim Ltd. collaborator Schlumberger New Energy illustrates the carbon storage site drilling and geology.

Federal policy is vital to accelerate deployment of technologies that can curtail industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions, Portland Cement Association contends in response to the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office’s (AMO) “Request for Information on Industrial Decarbonization Priorities.” 

Absent strong support from Washington, D.C., an AMO timeline to reach carbon neutrality across industry is unrealistic due to technical, legal and economic challenges attending carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS); hydrogen fuel adoption; or, specific to cement production, kiln electrification. “Federal policy must accelerate the significant technology, funding, and market innovation needed for rapid decarbonization while preserving economic growth and international competitiveness,” says PCA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Sean O’Neill. “The adoption of CCUS is key to achieving deep decarbonization in the cement industry.”

He and PCA colleagues also note in AMO RFI comments: CCUS methods deployed in limestone to clinker conversion phases would address 60 percent of cement sector CO2 emissions; with the right federal and state policies, those methods could become scalable over the next 10 years, yet permitting, infrastructure and funding challenges remain; tax incentive reforms and Energy Department loan programs would accelerate early CCUS investment and adoption in cement production; and, while hydrogen fuel usage and kiln electrification present potentially transformative emissions reduction strategies, neither will be viable for at least 15-20 years. Beyond CCUS and kiln power observations, they cite cement and concrete stakeholders’ Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, an October 2021 proclamation of carbon dioxide emissions reduction measures over the next 30 years. 

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