Orginal Article

CO2 emissions from cement industry in China: A bottom-up estimation from factory to regional and national levels

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. The CAE Center for Strategic Studies, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing 100088, China

Author: Yang Yan (1984-), PhD, specialized in resource industrial economics. E-mail:

*Corresponding author: Wang Limao (1962-), Professor, specialized in energy economics and climate change policy. E-mail:

Received date: 2016-04-19

  Accepted date: 2016-07-22

  Online published: 2017-06-10

Supported by

Strategic Priority Research Programs-Climate Change: Carbon Budget and Related Issues of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA 05010400, No.XDA 05010205;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171110


Much attention is being given to estimating cement-related CO2 emissions in China. However, scant explicit and systematical exploration is being done on regional and national CO2 emission volumes. The aim of this work is therefore to provide an improved bottom-up spatial-integration system, relevant to CO2 emissions at factory level, to allow a more accurate estimation of the CO2 emissions from cement production. Based on this system, the sampling data of cement production lines were integrated as regional- and national-level information. The integration results showed that each ton of clinker produced 883 kg CO2, of which the process, fuel, and electricity emissions accounted for 58.70%, 35.97%, and 5.33%, respectively. The volume of CO2 emissions from clinker and cement production reached 1202 Mt and 1284 Mt, respectively, in 2013. A discrepancy was identified between the clinker emission factors relevant to the two main production processes (i.e., the new suspension preheating and pre-calcining kiln (NSP) and the vertical shaft kiln (VSK)), probably relevant to the energy efficiency of the two technologies. An analysis of the spatial characteristics indicated that the spatial distribution of the clinker emission factors mainly corresponded to that of the NSP process. The discrepancy of spatial pattern largely complied with the economic and population distribution pattern of China. The study could fill the knowledge gaps and provide role players with a useful spatial integration system that should facilitate the accurate estimation of carbon and corresponding regional mitigation strategies in China.

Cite this article

Yan YANG, Limao WANG, Zhi CAO, Chufu MOU, Lei SHEN, Jianan ZHAO, Yebing FANG . CO2 emissions from cement industry in China: A bottom-up estimation from factory to regional and national levels[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2017 , 27(6) : 711 -730 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-017-1402-8


[1] Ali M B, Saidur R, Hossain M S, 2011. A review on emission analysis in cement industries.Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15: 2252-2261.
[2] Aranda U A, López-Sabirón A M, Ferreira Get al., 2013. Uses of alternative fuels and raw materials in the cement industry as sustainable waste management options.Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 23: 242-260.
[3] Cai B F, Wang J N, He J et al., 2015. Evaluating CO2 emission performance in China’s cement industry: An enterprise perspective. Applied Energy. .
[4] Cao Z, Shen L, Zhao J Aet al., 2016a. Toward a better practice for estimating the CO2 emission factors of cement production: An experience from China.Journal of Cleaner Production, 139: 527-539.
[5] Cao Z, Shen L, Zhao J Aet al., 2016b. Modeling the dynamic mechanism between cement CO2 emissions and clinker quality to realize low-carbon cement.Resources Conservation & Recycling, 113: 116-126.
[6] CBMA (China Building Materials Academy), 2011. National standard of the People’s Republic of China: The calculation method of CO2 emission with cement production [GB/T]. Beijing: China Building Materials Academy, 40-50.
[7] CCA (China Cement Association), 2014. China Cement Almanac 2012-2013. Beijing: China Building Materials Industry Press, 300-600. (in Chinese)
[8] Chen F N, Shen L, Liu L Tet al., 2015. Spatial differences of exergy use of cement manufacturing industry in China based on extended exergy accounting method.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 25(11): 1393-1407.
[9] Chen P, 2009. The Quality, Classification, and Utilization of China’s Coal. 2nd ed. Beijing: Chemical Industry Press, 27-72. (in Chinese)
[10] China Cement, 2015. China Cement Almanac 2014. Beijing: China Building Materials Industry Press, 100-300. (in Chinese)
[11] Chuai X W, Lai L, Huang X Jet al., 2012. Temporospatial changes of carbon footprint based on energy consumption in China.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 22(1): 110-124.
[12] CIIN (China Industry Information Network), 2014a. Province-level statistics of China’s cement output in 2013. (in Chinese)
[13] CIIN (China Industry Information Network), 2014b. Province-level statistics of China’s Portland cement clinker output in 2013. . (in Chinese)
[14] CIIN (China Industry Information Network), 2014c. Province-level statistics of China’s Portland cement clinker output from the NSP klins in 2013. . (in Chinese)
[15] CSI (Cement Sustainability Initiative), 2011. CO2 and energy accounting and reporting standard for the cement industry (version 3.0). .
[16] Cui S P, Liu W, 2008. Analysis of CO2 emission mitigation potential in cement producing processes.China Cement, 4: 57-59. (in Chinese)
[17] Gao T M, Shen L, Shen Met al., 2015. Analysis on differences of carbon dioxide emission from cement production and their major determinants.Journal of Cleaner Production, 103: 160-170.
[18] Gu A, Shi X, Wang Let al., 2012. The potential and cost analysis of energy saving and emission reduction in China cement sector.China Population Resources and Environment, 8: 16-21.
[19] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), 2006. 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories [EB/OL]. .
[20] Lei Y, Zhang Q, Nielsen Cet al., 2011. An inventory of primary air pollutants and CO2 emissions from cement production in China, 1990-2020.Atmospheric Environment, 45: 147-154.
[21] Li L F, Wang J F, Cao Z D, 2008. An information-fusion method to regionalize spatial heterogeneity for improving the accuracy of spatial sampling estimation.Stochastic Environment Research and Risk Assessment, 22: 689-704.
[22] Liu J, Li H, 2010. Developing low-carbon economy promotes the cement industry changes.China Resources Comprehensive Utilization, 28: 56-58.
[23] Liu T J, 2015. Study on application conditions and optimization of knowledge layer for sandwich spatial sampling model [D]. Beijing: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 23-100. (in Chinese)
[24] Mikul?i? H, Vujanovi? M, Dui? N, 2013. Reducing the CO2 emissions in Croatian cement industry.Applied Energy, 101: 41-48.
[25] NBS (National Bureau of Statistics), 2015. China Statistical Yearbook 2014. Beijing: China Statistics Press, 40-100. (in Chinese)
[26] Ke J, McNeil M, Price Let al., 2013. Estimation of CO2 emissions from China’s cement production: Methodologies and uncertainties.Energy Policy, 57: 172-181.
[27] Ke J, Zheng N, Fridley Det al., 2012. Potential energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction of China’s cement industry.Energy Policy, 45: 739-751.
[28] Rattanashotinunt C, Thairit P, Tangchirapat Wet al., 2013. Use of calcium carbide residue and bagasse ash mixtures as a new cementitious material in concrete.Materials & Design, 46: 106-111.
[29] Rovira J, Mari M, Nadal Met al., 2010. Partial replacement of fossil fuel in a cement plant: Risk assessment for the population living in the neighborhood.Science of The Total Environment, 408: 5372-5380.
[30] Shen L, Gao T M, Zhao J Aet al., 2014. Factory-level measurements on CO2 emission factors of cement production in China.Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 34: 337-349.
[31] Shen W G, Cao L, Li Qet al., 2015. Quantifying CO2 emissions from China’s cement industry.Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 50: 1004-1012.
[32] Tu H, Chen Y, Chen W, 2003. Fixed carbon applied to calculated carbon content of anthracite coal in China.Coal Science and Technology, 12: 98-100.
[33] USGS (U. S. Geological Surveyy), 2014. Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013. .
[34] Wang J F, Haining R P, Cao Z D, 2010a. Sample surveying to estimate the mean of a heterogeneous surface: reducing the error variance through zoning.International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 24: 523-543.
[35] Wang J F, Haining R P, Liu T Jet al., 2013. Sandwich estimation for multi-unit reporting on a stratified heterogeneous surface.Environment and Planning, 45: 2515-2534.
[36] Wang J F, Jiang C C, Li L F et al., 2009. Spatial Sampling and Statistical Inference. Beijing: Science Press, 17-176. (in Chinese)
[37] Wang J F, Li X H, Christakos Get al., 2010b. Geographical detectors-based health risk assessment and its application in the neural tube defects study of the Heshun region, China.International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 24: 107-127.
[38] Wang J F, Liu J Y, Zhuan D Fet al., 2002. Spatial sampling design for monitoring cultivated land.International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23: 263-284.
[39] Wang L X, Wang Y M, Hao Q Jet al., 2010c. Survey and research on CO2 emissions in clinker production of cement industry.China Building Materials Science and Technology, 8: 96-99. (in Chinese)
[40] Wang S J, Fang C L, Ma H Tet al., 2014. Spatial differences and multi-mechanism of carbon footprint based on GWR model in provincial China.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 24(4): 612-630.
[41] Wang Y, Zhu Q, Geng Y, 2013. Trajectory and driving factors for GHG emissions in the Chinese cement industry.Journal of Cleaner Production, 53: 252-260.
[42] Wang Y F, H?ller S, Viebahn Pet al., 2014. Integrated assessment of CO2 reduction technologies in China’s cement industry.International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 20: 27-36.
[43] Wei D Q, 2013. Measurement method and application for carbon emission coefficient of NSP cement production in China [D]. Beijing: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 31-41. (in Chinese)
[44] Wei D Q, Zhao J A, Jin Q Z, 2012. Comparison of domestic and international calculation methods of CO2 emission from cement production and the enlightenments for China.Resources Science, 34: 1152-1159. (in Chinese)
[45] Wei J X, Geng Y B, Shen L et al., 2014. Calculation of CO2 emission factor on the present situation of the domestic cement production.China Environmental Science, 2014, 34(11): 2970-2975. (in Chinese)
[46] Xu J H, Fleiter T, Eichhammer Wet al., 2012. Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in China’s cement industry: A perspective from LMDI decomposition analysis.Energy Policy, 50: 821-832.
[47] Xu J H, Fleiter T, Fan Yet al., 2014. CO2 emissions reduction potential in China’s cement industry compared to IEA’s Cement Technology Roadmap up to 2050.Applied Energy, 130: 592-602.