EPA Factsheet on Cement Carbon Intensity

Check out this resource from the EPA on cement carbon intensities! The quartiles show the range in intensity across manufacturers using data (Scope 1 only) reported directly from manufacturers. To me, this highlights the need to have more cement EPDs and/or plant-specific data included in concrete EPDs, given this range in the carbon intensity of cement from different plants.

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Thank you! How would you suggest this information is used? Requiring manufacturing emission intensity in any Submittals alongside request for product-specific EPDs?

One potentially confusing aspect of the paper is that it lumps all cement together. While there are several different types of cement that many of us don’t regularly concern ourselves with (oil well cements, masonry cements, expansive cements, etc.) the main types of cements used for concrete fall under ASTM C150 and C595. The US cement industry is currently undergoing a transition from C150 Portland Cement to C595 Blended Cement, with Type IL (Portland Limestone Cement or PLC) leading the way. The good news about PLCs and other blended materials is that we can produce concrete that is just as strong and durable with a lower carbon footprint. During this transition though, when some plants have switch completely over to PLC, some have not, and some produce both, lumping all cements under one banner is not a great comparison.

I’ll link a couple of resources below and end with an offer: if your group doesn’t have a firm grip on the changes coming in cements, I can help you or connect you to someone who can - this is an important transition for the cement industry and we’re all working hard to make sure that everyone understands and is comfortable with these changes.

PCA site on Portland Limestone Cement: https://www.greenercement.com/
PCA Industry Average EPD for C150 Cements (spoiler - 922 kg CO2e/MT): https://www.cement.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/pca_epds_2021_rev01312022.pdf?sfvrsn=d26ffbf_2
PCA Industry Average EPD for C595 PLCs (spoiler - 742 kg CO2e/MT): https://www.greenercement.com/_files/ugd/f3d485_a37f4211d05c425db19507f13f37ddf9.pdf

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