Decarbonizing the cement and concrete industry: A systematic review of socio-technical systems, technological innovations, and policy options

Steve Griffiths*, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Aoife M. Foley, Morgan D. Bazilian, Jinsoo Kim, Joao M. Uratani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Concrete is the most highly used construction material globally. This is largely due to its durability, versatility and manufacture from inexpensive and readily available materials. Although concrete has become an essential and ubiquitous construction material for modern society, its use has significant environmental impacts. The full cement and concrete lifecycle, from production to final disposal, accounts for nearly 10% of global energy-related CO2 emissions with the majority of these emissions produced from cement, which is the binding material that holds concrete together. The cement and concrete industry (CCI), which is integral to global infrastructure development, is therefore confronted with a growing need to decarbonize its operations and products, as well as to support the decarbonization of associated end-user sectors. This paper provides a systematic and critical review of more than 800 studies to highlight ways in which the CCI can decarbonize. A socio-technical perspective is used to understand the full range of industrial and economic activities where a decarbonized paradigm for cement and concrete production is relevant. This perspective is further used to assess key technical, economic, social and political factors that will drive a net-zero transition in the CCI over the long term.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113291
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume180
Early online date23 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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