Fancy videos aside, the simple fact is, choices are already being made. For example, let's look at the scale of subsidy-support for CO2-intensive activities. As stated by the World Bank in 2023 (here), "Subsidies for fossil fuels, agriculture, and fisheries exceed $7 trillion in explicit and implicit subsidies, which is around 8% of global GDP. Explicit subsidies via direct government expenditures (agriculture, fishing and fossil fuels) total about $1.25 trillion, around the size of a big economy such as Mexico. Implicit subsidies (a measure of the subsidies' impact on people and the planet) amount to over $6 trillion a year — and the burden falls mostly on the poor." Yes: that's trillions!
So why choose us? We explore the scale of concrete in our dedicated page here, while our "Climate Primer" webpage here chronicles the enormous CO2 'costs' and energy-overhead caused by Portland cement's production, in the context of the Net Zero challenge that we explore here. For many, the nature and pace of Climate Change is a real dynamic. A so-called 'leveller', requiring new ideas to solve the challenges in both practical and climate finance terms. We've all heard "something must be done", but at the same time when it comes to us, we hear "it sounds too good to be true". But what if it is true?
So, ask yourself: at what point does EMC Technology become a 'no brainer' CHOICE?
More than 70% Portland cement substitution. Yet delivering the required strength-development profile and crucial workability, yet using a total cement dose of less than 350 kg per cu•m concrete.
Strength and workability, cost effective and price competitive concrete mixes EVERY time! So, what's not to like?
As a rule-of-thumb, the more EMC Volcanics are used to replace the Portland cement (OPC) in concrete, the better the performance of the resulting concrete in terms of its long-term durability and chemical resistance. But what are the implications for Net Zero?
Making the case for a net-negative effect. If you're telling yourself this all sounds too good to be true, then you can relax! Let's deal with facts. More specifically, we're talking about over 30-years' establishing a lot of facts to get EMC Technology where it is today, in our getting this right. So, let's consider how EMC Volcanics can deliver a net negative CO2 effect across a project's lifecycle.
It starts with a low CO2-count. Our webpage dedicated to CO2 and Energy Ratings (here) confirms that we can count the amount of CO2 embodied in the cradle-to-factory gate production of EMC Volcanics. This also depends on the CO2 "costs" in getting the raw materials to our machines. All told, across lifecycle zones A1-A3 required for CO2-counting purposes, 'all in' that's ~30kg CO2 per tonne EMC Volcanics shipped from Turkey or Greece, then processed in (say) Liverpool (see here).
...For a low cement dose to hence give a low CO2-rating in concrete. This is where it gets more complicated, because there is no such thing as a single type of concrete. However, another look at our CO2 and Energy Ratings webpage confirms that EMC Volcanics can deliver a concrete at less than 70kg CO2 per cu•m concrete, to serve 95% of the U.K.'s ready mix market (PDF here).
So let's consider the implications of these factors for 95% of the U.K.'s ready-mix market, when placed into the full lifecycle spectrum now incorporated into lifecycle (LCA) regimes:
All these factors placed together means there's the real prospect that, across their full lifecycle (LCA) spectrum A-D, concretes replacing OPC with EMC Volcanics at 70% substitution will deliver a net-negative concrete for 95% of the ready-mix market's needs!
CO2 autoclaves: curing concrete in ambient CO2 can increase early CCS rates in pre-cast concretes.
Portland cement production is highly heat-intensive (here). Yet, to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, by the end of this decade CO2 emissions should fall by half under the Paris Accord...
In 2022, the FT's Climate Council stated the need for electrification (PDF). But surely this is only half the battle won if high energy solutions are not also replaced with low energy ones?
Let's start here: Consider the 2023 report by the Energy Institute in partnership with KPMG and the consultancy Kearney, which found that fossil fuels continued to make up 82% of the world’s total energy consumption in 2022, in line with 2021, causing CO2 emissions to climb by 0.8% as the world used more energy overall.
...Renewables met just 7.5% of the world’s energy demand. This represents an increase of nearly 1% over 2021, driven by record growth in wind and solar energy. Solar generation climbed by 25% in 2022 while wind power output grew by 13.5% compared with the year before. However, the renewable energy boom was eclipsed by 2022's modest rise in global energy consumption of 1.1%, compared to a 5.5% increase in 2021, which meant more oil and coal was burnt to meet demand.
...The Energy Institute warned that stubbornly high energy-related emissions risk derailing the aims of the Paris accord unless urgent action is taken by global governments.
Heat production is a major challenge: In 2021, the U.S. think-tank Renewable Thermal Collaborative stated (PDF): "There is a significant opportunity to decarbonize the industrial sector by shifting heat production away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to clean sources such as electrification where low- or zero-carbon electricity is used. Globally, more than 50% of final energy demand is for heating, and about half is for industrial heating. Much of the electrification discussion to date has focused on the transportation and building sectors, with little attention paid to the industrial sector. This report aims to fill some of that void by examining profiles of heat consumption in industrial subsectors and the potential for electrification..."
...Of the 13 sectors then studied, cement production was missing. Why? Because, according to the same U.S. think-tank: "The electrification of some of the high temperature heating processes such as cement ... is especially challenging and requires further R&D."
Yet, according to the U.S. Federal Energy Information Agency (EIA) in 2023? For U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions to fall to 25-38% of their 2005 levels, 'efficiencies', 'technological advancements' and an 'electrification drive' are absolute requirements under any U.S. growth scenario (see slide below).
CO2 from the energy industry rose to new highs in 2022 despite a record growth in renewables (PDF)
A vast Chinese PV installation that cuts only 20,000 tonnes CO2 per year. In 2022, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory stated that utility-scale solar (PV) power yields between 394 and 447 MWh per acre per year (PDF). An acre of solar panels saves between 121 to 138 tonnes CO2/year (here).
For 1 million tonnes CO2-abatement, solar needs 2,900 to 3,300 hectares.
A small EMC installation that can cut over 100,000 tonnes CO2 per year. EMC machines are electric and deliver no combustion fumes. Just these three machines can cut over 100,000 tonnes CO2 every year. Indeed, a single machine cuts more CO2 than the vast PV installation in the video!
A 2-hectare EMC plant stops about a million tonnes CO2 per year. That's it!