A life-cycle assessment of Portland cement manufacturing: comparing the traditional process with alternative technologies

Deborah N Huntzinger, Thomas D. Eatmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

471 Scopus citations


Concern over the impact of anthropogenic carbon emissions on the global climate has increased in recent years due to growth in global warming awareness. Approximately 5% of global CO2 emissions originate from the manufacturing of cement, the third largest source of carbon emission in the United States. In addition to the generation of CO2 the cement manufacturing process produces millions of tons of the waste product cement kiln dust (CKD) each year contributing to respiratory and pollution health risks. In this paper LCA is used to evaluate the environmental impact of four cement manufacturing processes: (1) the production of traditional Portland cement, (2) blended cement (natural pozzolans), (3) cement where 100% of waste cement kiln dust is recycled into the kiln process, and (4) Portland cement produced when cement kiln dust (CKD) is used to sequester a portion of the process related CO2 emissions. To reduce uncertainty this manuscript presents a cradle-to-gate life-cycle assessment of several cement products. Analysis using SimaPro 6.0 software shows that blended cements provide the greatest environmental savings followed by utilization of CKD for sequestration. The recycling of CKD was found to have little environmental savings over the traditional process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Cement production
  • Environmental impacts
  • Global warming
  • Natural pozzolans
  • Portland cement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management

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