In the United States, industrial emissions represent 22% of greenhouse gas emissions and are particularly hard to decarbonize, because (1) the processes emit CO2 as a byproduct of chemical reactions and (2) these industries require high-grade heat input. This study focuses on some of these industries, namely cement, lime, glass, and steelmaking. This work details the incumbent kiln and furnace technologies and explores the emerging processes with examples of existing projects that aim to reduce carbon emissions, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), fuel switching, and other technological changes. We provide tools to evaluate the most appropriate low-carbon solutions at existing facilities and on new-build infrastructure while taking into account the local context and resources.
This presentation highlights one state within the U.S., California, as it has a high concentration of cement, lime, glass, and steelmaking facilities. The emissions from cement, lime, and glass facilities in California total 8.5 MtCO2eq/yr. About 6.3 MtCO2/yr (7.1% of in-state industrial emissions) could be captured from cement and lime facilities, transported, and stored in sedimentary basins below the Central Valley. Replacing 20% of coal by biomass could also reduce the fossil emissions by 0.5 MtCO2/yr (6.2% of in-state industrial emissions) without making changes to the facilities. As shown by this example, there are many strategies leading to the deep decarbonization of the economy and they need to be adapted to the local context.


Dr. Maxwell Pisciotta is a 3rd-year Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania where his research is focused on carbon capture and carbon removal technologies, economics, and policy. Max also holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. When Max is not in the lab or completing coursework, he volunteers his time with the Climate Leaders at Penn to help educate people with non-technical backgrounds about climate change and potential solutions.