Abatement of industrial greenhouse gas emissions

Raili Kajaste-Rudnitskaja

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

Reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is increasingly proposed as one of the key components in achieving global sustainable development goals. The GHG emissions are continuing to rise annually at a rate of 1.5%. The total GHG emissions reached a record high of 55GtCO2eq in 2018. The direct industry contribution accounts for 21% and indirect GHG emissions for 11% of the global electricity and heat production emissions in the sector. The key sectors dominating the generation of global industrial GHG emissions are the iron and steel, cement and chemical industries. The growing global demand, especially for cement and plastics, is increasing the GHG emissions from these sectors. The fundamental objective of this study was to explore the possibilities to manage GHG emissions in industrial production chains. The specific objective was to find solutions for the reduction of GHG emissions in the production chains of cement, plastics and methanol. In addition, one aim was to highlight the possibilities of future biorefineries to reduce GHG emissions by replacing fossil resources in the production of chemicals and fuels. In this dissertation the research approach and process was multidisciplinary including attributional life cycle assessment (LCA), the capital recovery factor (CRF) and regression analysis of contributors to further develop incomplete datasets of the GHG emissions from the global cement sector. The key results of this dissertation are: (1) the total emission reduction potential identified in the global cement and chemical industry amount to 1112 Mt/a, corresponding to 17% of the GHG emissions from these two sectors. For comparison, the GHG emissions from the whole European Union area in 2017 were 4483 Mt, excluding land use change and land use change forestry (LUCLUCF); (2) the emissions from the plastics production chain are responsible for 51% of the GHG emissions from the chemical industry. Improved resource efficiency and increased additional recycling would reduce the emissions by 673 Mt/a in the value chain of plastics; (3) despite the large volumes of available biomass resources, the fuels and chemicals produced from fossil resources will continue to dominate until the market pull and cost-efficiency of renewable replacements make them attractive enough to compete. Lignocellulosic biomass, residuals, organic waste and algae were assessed as more sustainable resources for biorefineries than food and feed crops. Methanol production from biomass adjacent to a pulp and paper mill was evaluated to be commercially viable; (4) the production of methane and methanol will probably be the first to benefit from the emerging carbon capture and utilization technologies, and (5) this study proposed a method for the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in production chains by introducing a climate impact management matrix together with a capital recovery factor. To conclude, many of the GHG mitigation measures identified in this study are readily available for implementation provided the financial gains and political willingness lower the threshold to investment.
Translated title of the contributionTeollisuuden kasvihuonekaasujen päästöjen vähentäminen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Oinas, Pekka, Supervising Professor
  • Hurme, Markku, Thesis Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-64-0307-6
Electronic ISBNs978-952-64-0308-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Keywords

  • climate change
  • greenhouse gases
  • abatement
  • mitigation
  • cement
  • plastics
  • methanol
  • biorefineries

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