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Substantial global carbon uptake by cement carbonation

Xi, Fengming and Davis, Steven J. and Ciais, Philippe and Crawford-Brown, Douglas and Guan, Dabo and Pade, Claus and Shi, Tiemao and Syddall, Mark and Lv, Jie and Ji, Lanzhu and Bing, Longfei and Wang, Jiaoyue and Wei, Wei and Yang, Keun-Hyeok and Lagerblad, Björn and Galan, Isabel and Andrade, Carmen and Zhang, Ying and Liu, Zhu (2016) Substantial global carbon uptake by cement carbonation. Nature Geoscience, 9 (12). pp. 880-883. ISSN 1752-0894. doi:10.1038/ngeo2840.

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Calcination of carbonate rocks during the manufacture of cement produced 5% of global CO_2 emissions from all industrial process and fossil-fuel combustion in 2013. Considerable attention has been paid to quantifying these industrial process emissions from cement production, but the natural reversal of the process—carbonation—has received little attention in carbon cycle studies. Here, we use new and existing data on cement materials during cement service life, demolition, and secondary use of concrete waste to estimate regional and global CO_2 uptake between 1930 and 2013 using an analytical model describing carbonation chemistry. We find that carbonation of cement materials over their life cycle represents a large and growing net sink of CO_2, increasing from 0.10 GtC yr^(−1) in 1998 to 0.25 GtC yr^(−1) in 2013. In total, we estimate that a cumulative amount of 4.5 GtC has been sequestered in carbonating cement materials from 1930 to 2013, offsetting 43% of the CO_2 emissions from production of cement over the same period, not including emissions associated with fossil use during cement production. We conclude that carbonation of cement products represents a substantial carbon sink that is not currently considered in emissions inventories.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Davis, Steven J.0000-0002-9338-0844
Ciais, Philippe0000-0001-8560-4943
Wei, Wei0000-0002-1018-7708
Liu, Zhu0000-0002-8968-7050
Additional Information:© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 17 July 2016; accepted 10 October 2016; published online 21 November 2016. Supported by the NSFC (41473076, 41501605, 51578344, 31100346, 41629501, 71533005), Fund of Youth Innovation Promotion Association, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fund of Fellowships for Young International Distinguished Scientists in Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0602604), the UK Economic and Social Research Council funded project ‘Dynamics of Green Growth in European and Chinese Cities’ (ES/L016028/1), and the UK Natural Environment Research Council funded project ‘Integrated assessment of the emission-health-socioeconomics nexus and air pollution mitigation solutions and interventions in Beijing’ (NE/N00714X/1). Author Contributions: F.X. and Z.L. designed the paper. F.X. conceived the research. F.X., C.P., T.S., J.W., K.H.Y., L.B., I.G., C.A. and P.C. provided the data from different countries and regions. T.S., F.X., J.W. and Y.Z. provided the survey statistics and experimental measurements data. S.J.D., F.X., Z.L., P.C., M.S. and D.C.B. performed the analysis. C.P., J.L., Z.L., L.J., P.C., K.H.Y., L.B., I.G. and Y.Z. provided the reference data. F.X., L.B., D.C.B., Z.L. M.S. and T.S. performed uncertainty analysis. S.J.D. and L.B. drew the figures. All authors contributed to writing the paper. Data availability. The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the Article and its Supplementary Information files. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China41473076
National Natural Science Foundation of China41501605
National Natural Science Foundation of China51578344
National Natural Science Foundation of China31100346
National Natural Science Foundation of China41629501
National Natural Science Foundation of China71533005
Fund of Youth Innovation Promotion AssociationUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Fund of Fellowships for Young International Distinguished Scientists in Institute of Applied EcologyUNSPECIFIED
National Key Basic Research Program of China2016YFA0602604
Economic and Social Research CouncilES/L016028/1
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/N00714X/1
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161129-114953242
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Substantial global carbon uptake by cement carbonation Fengming Xi, Steven J. Davis, Philippe Ciais, Douglas Crawford-Brown, Dabo Guan, Claus Pade, Tiemao Shi, Mark Syddall, Jie Lv, Lanzhu Ji, Longfei Bing, Jiaoyue Wang, Wei Wei, Keun-Hyeok Yang, Björn Lagerblad, Isabel Galan, Carmen Andrade, Ying Zhang & Zhu Liu Nature Geoscience (2016) doi:10.1038/ngeo2840
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72406
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Nov 2016 20:19
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:00

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