Articles Posted in the Business category

US firm plans to make cement from power station emissions

August 11, 2008
Posted in Business

A company in California says it can turn the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by power stations into cement by bubbling it through sea water, Scientific American reports.

The company, called Calera, is preparing to open its first cement plant next door to a gas-fired power station on the California coast.

The cement-making process could be a way of killing two birds with one stone by reducing the geenhouse gas emissions of two highly polluting industries at one time. According to US Environmental Protection Agency, making one ton of cement results in about 1 ton of carbon dioxide.

The Calera process “essentially mimics marine cement, which is produced by coral when making their shells and reefs, taking the calcium and magnesium in seawater and using it to form carbonates at normal temperatures and pressures”, SciAm writes. Read more

Cement industry focus of new clean-up campaign

May 30, 2008
Posted in Business

© Dan Moore, South Africa’s Environmental Management Inspectors, the Green Scorpions, launched a “Clean Cement” campaign this week with a series of compliance inspections at cement manufacturing facilities across the country, says the department of environmental affairs and tourism.

“The cement industry has been prioritised in this new environmental compliance campaign because of the growing demand for its products. An increase in construction and development projects in the country and rapid expansions in the cement sector means that the industry may contribute significantly to pollution if not mitigated and managed properly,” said Joanne Yawitch, deputy director general for environmental quality and protection at DEAT.

She added that inspectors would consider findings of significant non-compliances to environmental authorisations at cement plants in a serious light, and take appropriate enforcement action.

Photograph: © Dan Moore,

Cement company grilled on carbon emissions

February 2, 2008
Posted in Business

Shareholder activist Theo Botha has taken another company to task on its carbon emissions. This time he grilled cement company PPC on its “vague” environmental targets at its annual general meeting in Sandton on Monday.

According to a report by Rob Rose of the Financial Mail, Botha asked why PPC didn’t disclose its total carbon emissions. The company’s chairman, Martin Shaw, replied: “Maybe we’ll do that, put those details in.”

“If they can’t account for such an important figure, their sustainability report is largely meaningless,” Botha reportedly said.

The cement industry produces 5 percent of the world’s man-made carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a 2002 report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The chemical process of producing clinker is responsible for 50 percent of those emissions – when calcium carbonate is heated it produces lime and carbon dioxide – and burning fossil fuels for energy is responsible for 40 percent.

The WBCSD says that “it requires the equivalent of 60 to 130kg of fuel oil and 110 kWh of electricity to produce one ton of cement (depending on the cement variety and the process used).”