Emissions Monitoring and Reduction

Cement plants, like other energy intensive operations, produce air emissions (other than CO2) that must be controlled and mitigated. Emissions measurement, monitoring and reporting contributes to understanding, documenting and improving the industry’s environmental performance.

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In 2005, the CSI published its first emissions measurement and reporting guidelines to provide a common framework to its members and to the wider industry. CSI member companies subsequently started reporting annually on a set of agreed key performance indicators for emissions and set their own emissions reduction targets.

In 2012, the CSI published an update of its emissions guidelines. This update takes into account the experience gained during implementation and evaluation of the first guidelines and of the development of the regulatory framework in the years since. The main changes from the previous guidelines are the requirement for continuous emission monitoring of main kiln stack emissions (NOx, SOx, dust), recommendation for continuous monitoring of VOCs and regular measurement of mercury, dioxins and furans, and metals (volatile and other heavy metals). A detailed discussion and the link to download the guidelines can be found in the section on Guidelines.

Furthermore, over the years the CSI has conducted extensive research on documenting and minimizing minor emissions of hazardous materials, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury from cement kiln operations. In a study commissioned by the CSI from the SINTEF research institute, more than 2000 measurements of dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) were collected from individual CSI members. Working with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the Stockholm Convention, the CSI played a strong role in developing and promoting control techniques to minimize inadvertent PCDD/F emissions. (See section on “Release of POPs”.)

In a study commissioned together with the European Cement Association (CEMBUREAU), from the University of Liège (ULg) in Belgium, the CSI provided an overall inventory of mercury emissions in the cement industry worldwide, and identified the best practices available to reduce such emissions. (See section on Mercury.)

Going forward, the CSI is taking a lead to develop work of the Cement Industry Sector partnership formed under the auspices of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership. This process will feed information and data into the decision making process to come up with a legally binding instrument to manage mercury emissions from the different sectors. (See section on Global Mercury Partnership.)