Tag Archives: Carbon dioxide

United States Carbon: CSI reports encouraging carbon reduction data

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) has published the latest update to the ‘Getting the Numbers Right’ database, which shows significant CO2 emissions reductions and improved efficiency.

As the cement industry’s global database of CO2 emissions and performance, the latest ‘Getting the Numbers Right’ (GNR) data for 2011 shows that the industry has reduced its specific net CO2 emissions per tonne of cementitious product by 17 per cent since 1990 (from 756kg/t to 629kg/t)1.

The GNR figures provide evidence of the gradual decoupling of emissions and cement output, which demonstrates the significant progress made by the industry: cement production by GNR companies increased by 74 per cent between 1990 and 2011, absolute CO2 emissions increased by only by 44 per cent over this period. Between 2010 and 2011, while cement production volume covered by the GNR increased from 840Mt to 888Mt cementitious volume), specific net CO2 emissions have decreased from 638kg/t to 629kg/t of cementitious product.

Commenting on the encouraging data, Philippe Fonta, WBCSD managing director, said: “GNR demonstrates how an effective measuring, reporting and verification system can be developed and managed for and by an entire industry sector. GNR has become established as a valuable source of independently verified emissions data, which is now used globally by the cement industry to improve energy efficiency and further reduce emissions. It is also accessed widely by policy-makers, analysts and other interested stakeholders.”

According to the data, the four main drivers for the reduction in emissions are:
• investment in more efficient kiln technology
• increasing use of alternative fuels such as biomass2
• reduction in clinker content3
• an eight per cent decrease in electricity use per tonne of cement since 1990.

The 2011 data also now comprises 55 per cent of cement production outside of China, with 96 per cent coverage in Europe spanning 967 individual facilities. Four new country reports are released for the first time: Thailand, Morocco, Philippines and Egypt providing more relevant national data in these countries.

About the GNR

Now in its seventh year of publication and the largest global database of its kind, the GNR is a voluntary, independently managed database of CO2 and energy performance information on the global cement industry. The most recent data released is for 2011 in compliance with anti-trust legislation.

The GNR uses a common methodology for data collection and reporting, of which 94 per cent is independently verified.  Whilst the database is managed by the CSI, participation is nott limited to its members. Cement producers worldwide are encouraged to report their emissions through the GNR project and cement trade associations have played a particularly active role in encouraging member companies to  make their emissions data available.

The GNR data is available online at www.wbcsdcement.org/GNR


1: For specific gross CO2 emissions the reduction was 15 per cent over the same time span.
Gross CO2 emissions: direct CO2 emissions (excl. on-site electricity production) minus emissions from biomass fuel sources.

Net CO2 emissions: gross CO2 emissions minus emissions from alternative fossil fuels
Cementitious products are all clinker volumes produced by a company for cement making or direct clinker sale, plus gypsum, limestone, CKD, and all clinker substitutes consumed for blending, plus all cement substitutes produced. Clinker bought from third parties for the production of cement is excluded.

2: While a few plants have been able to replace up to over 90 per cent of conventional fuels, the global average replacement is around 13 per cent in 2011 (compared to only two per cent in 1990).

3: Clinker-to-cement ratio exhibits some variations in different regions due to the specific minerals added in the concrete manufacturing process. Globally, the average % of clinker in cement is 76 per cent (compared to 83 per cent in 1990).

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Buildings Account for 39% of CO 2 emissions in the United States

The commercial and residential building sector accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions in the United States per year, more than any other sector. U.S. buildings alone are responsible for more CO 2 emissions annually than those of any other country except China. Most of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling and lighting, and to power appliances and electrical equipment. By transforming the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.

A growing source of CO2 emissions:
  • In 2004, total emissions from residential and commercial buildings were 2236 million metric tons of CO 2 , or 39% of total U.S. CO 2 emissions—more than either the transportation or industrial sector
  • Over the next 25 years, CO 2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest—1.8% a year through 2030
  • When other CO 2 emissions attributable to buildings are considered—such as the emissions from the manufacture and transport of building construction and demolition materials and transportation associated wi th urban sprawl—the result is an even greater impact on the climate

Buildings consume 70% of the electricity load in the U.S. The most significant factor contributing to CO 2 emissions from buildings is their use of electricity:

  • Commercial and residential buildings are tremendous users of electricity, accounting for more than 70% of electricity use in the U.S.
  • The building sector consumed 40 quadrillion Bt us of energy in 2005 at a cost of over $300 billion. Energy use in the sector is projected to increase to 50 quadrillion Btus at a cost of $430 billion by the year 2025.
  • The energy impact of buildings is likely to be even greater when taking into account other energy use attributable to buildin gs. For example, the energy embodied in a single building’s envelope equals 8-10 times t he annual energy used to heat and cool the building.
  • Buildings have a lifespan of 50-100 years during which they continually consume energy and produce CO 2 emissions. If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50% less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO 2 annually for the life of the buildings—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.

Green buildings are a vital tool in the fight against climate change

Scientists predict that left unchecked, emissions of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases from human activities will raise global temperatures by 2.5ºF to 10ºF this century. The effects will be profound, and may include rising sea levels, more frequent floods and droughts, and increased spread of infectious diseases. To address the threat of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be sl owed, stopped, and reversed. Meeting the challenge will require dramatic advances in technologies and a shift in how the world economy generates and uses energy.

Building green is one of the best strategies for meeting the challenge of climate change because the technology to make substantial reductions in energy and CO 2 emissions already exists. The average LEED certified building uses 32% less electricity and saves 350 metric tons of CO 2 emissions annually. Modest investments in energy-saving and other climate-friendly technologies can yield buildings and communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthier places to live and work, and that contribute to reducing CO 2 emissions.

Green buildings provide abundant opportunities for saving energy and mitigating CO 2 emissions

Building green can reduce CO2 emissions while improving the bottom line through energy and other savings. Examples of measures that can be taken to improve building performance include:

  • Incorporating the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with operations and maintenance of such systems to assure optimum performance
  • Using state of the art lighting and optimizing daylighting
  • Using recycled content building and interior materials
  • Reducing potable water usage
  • Using renewable energy
  • Implementing proper construction waste management
  • Siting the building near public transportation
  • Using locally produced building materials

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Scientists Size Up U.S. Carbon Storage Potential

There appears to be more than enough room to bury our emissions, but large-scale carbon capture remains untested.

How much carbon dioxide could the U.S. store underground? The answer depends on both geology and engineering, and estimates of the nation’s storage capacity have varied widely. Now the United States Geological Survey has weighed in, releasing its first-ever “detailed national geologic carbon sequestration assessment.” The study, which refers to today’s engineering practices as well as “current geologic and hydrologic knowledge of the subsurface,” concludes that there are enough “technically accessible” onshore storage resources to accommodate 500 times the country’s total energy-related emissions in 2011.

This may seem like great news, but it should be taken with more than a pinch of salt. In reality, the extent to which we can rely on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is very unclear. The technology—which generally entails capturing carbon dioxide at a power plant, compressing it to a near-liquid state, and injecting it into porous rock formations deep underground—is prohibitively expensive, and has yet to be tested at the scale required to significantly dent emissions. Some researchers have also raised questions about the viability of large-scale CCS because it could induce earthquakes (See: “Researchers Say Earthquakes Would Let Stored CO2 Escape”). And, perhaps most importantly, each candidate site is unique; recent research has shown that individual storage sites can exhibit very different geomechanical responses to carbon dioxide injection.

All this is why it’s worth keeping eye on Canada’s plan to use CCS to reduce the carbon footprint of its growing oil sands industry—an important first test of CCS as a legitimate tool for cutting emissions. (See “Can Carbon Capture Clean Up Canada’s Oil Sands?”)

Meanwhile, below is a map showing the various sedimentary basins the USGS assessed for the study. The dark grey areas indicate sites that were assessed, and lighter grey represents evaluated areas that were not assessed because they failed to meet certain minimum requirements for carbon dioxide storage.


To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

EPA develops an annual report called the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (Inventory). This report tracks total annual U.S. emissions and removals by source, economic sector, and greenhouse gas going back to 1990. EPA uses national energy data, data on national agricultural activities, and other national statistics to provide a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United States. The most recent Inventory report is available for download at the bottom of this page.

For an overview of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States based on information from the Inventory including graphs of U.S. emissions by gas and source, click on the links below:

(April 2013)

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks tracks the national trend in greenhouse gas emissions and removals back to 1990. The key findings of the 1990-2011 U.S. Inventory include:

  • In 2011, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,702 million metric tons CO2 Eq.
  • U.S. emissions decreased by 1.6 percent from 2010 to 2011. Recent trends can be attributed to multiple factors including reduced emissions from electricity generation, improvements in fuel efficiency in vehicles with reductions in miles traveled, and year-to-year changes in the prevailing weather.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 were 6.9 percent below 2005 levels.

Read or download the entire Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011 (PDF, 505 pp., 12.3 MB). For faster access, individual report sections are posted below, for example the Executive Summary (PDF, 26 pp., 1.62 MB).

Individual sections of the draft report are also available for download:

Upfront (PDF) (6 pp., 359 KB) – Includes title page, acknowledgments and preface.

Table of Contents (PDF) (16 pp., 552 KB) – Contains the main inventory document’s table of contents as well as the list of tables, figures, and boxes.

Executive Summary (PDF) (26 pp., 1.62 MB) – Provides a broad overview of all U.S. greenhouse gas emission sources and sinks, introduces key concepts and discusses the primary drivers for changes in emissions. All material in the Executive Summary is drawn from the following chapters.

Introduction (PDF) (22 pp., 775 KB) – Includes background information on greenhouse gas emission inventories, an introduction to climate change, a discussion of methodological issues and plans for QA/QC and an uncertainty analysis.

Trends in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (PDF) (32 pp., 1.84 MB) – Provides an overview of emission trends and discusses the primary drivers for changes in emissions.

Energy (PDF) (81 pp., 2.44 MB) – Discusses and quantifies energy related emissions of all greenhouse gases resulting from stationary and mobile source activities including fuel combustion and fugitive fuel emissions.

Industrial Processes (PDF) (97 pp., 1.75 MB) – Addresses emissions from industrial processes not directly related to energy activities.

Solvent and Other Product Use (PDF) (6 pp., 484 KB) – Addresses emissions resulting from the use of solvents and evaporative emissions of greenhouse gases arising from other types of product use.

Agriculture (PDF) (41 pp., 2.06 MB) – Addresses anthropogenic emissions from agricultural activities (not including fuel combustion and sewage emissions, which are addressed in the Energy and Waste chapters).

Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (PDF) (74 pp., 3.17 MB) – Addresses emissions and removals from forest and land-use change activities, primarily carbon dioxide.

Waste (PDF) (31 pp., 1.04 MB) – Addresses emissions from waste management activities.

Other (PDF) (1 pp., 211 KB) – Addresses emissions from the “Other” IPCC sector.

Recalculations and Improvements (PDF) (6 pp., 489 KB) – Includes an overview of changes in this year’s report, including historical data, methodology and other changes relative to the 1990-2010 report.

References (PDF) (61 pp., 981 KB) – Contains the list of references used in the main inventory document.

All Annexes (PDF) (429 pp., 10.6 MB) – Supplementary information, data tables, detailed emission calculations and methodological discussions.

Annex Introduction and TOC (PDF) (1 pp., 213 KB) – Contains the table of contents for the Annex.

Annex 1 (PDF) (28 pp., 1.10 MB) – Key Category Analysis.

Annex 2 (PDF) (93 pp., 2.11 MB) – Methodology and Data for Estimating CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion.

Annex 3 (PDF) (249 pp., 7.28 MB) – Methodological Descriptions for Additional Source or Sink Categories.

Annex 4 (PDF) (10 pp., 406 KB) – IPCC Reference Approach for Estimating CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion.

Annex 5 (PDF) (2 pp., 265 KB) – Assessment of the Sources and Sinks of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Not Included.

Annex 6 (PDF) (24 pp., 714 KB) – Additional Information.

Annex 7 (PDF) (22 pp., 652 KB) – Uncertainty.

CRF Tables (Zip) (8.18 MB) – Common reporting format (CRF) tables, which present standardized summary information consistent with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) inventory reporting requirements.

CSV Inventory Report Tables (Zip) (244 KB) – Tables from the 1990-2011 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, in comma separated values (CSV) format.

CSV Inventory Annex Tables (Zip) (315 KB) – Tables from the 1990-2011 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Annex, in comma separated values (CSV) format.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon participates in the Nature Conservancies ‘Planet a Billion Tree’s Program.

United States Carbon participates in the Nature Conservancies ‘Planet a Billion Tree’s Program.  United States Carbon contributes 1% of its profits to this program, as well as other community environmental organizations.  Did you know that in one year, one tree… cools the equivalent 10 air conditioners running continually, absorbs 750 gallons of storm water and filters 60 pounds of pollutants from the air.  The Nature Conservancy is striving to plant 1 billion trees to help mitigate the over-production of carbon-dioxide.  Every dollar donated to The Nature Conservancy plants one tree.  To learn more go to Plant A Billion Trees http://www.plantabillion.org   One dollar. One tree, One Planet.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Atomspheric Carbon Increases

Preliminary data for February 2013 show CO2 levels last month standing at their highest ever recorded at Manua Loa, a remote volcano in the Pacific. Last month they reached a record 396.80ppm with a jump of 3.26ppm between February 2012 and 2013.  Carbon dioxide levels fluctuate seasonally, with the highest levels usually observed in April. Last year the highest level at Mauna Loa was measured at 396.18ppm.

What is disturbing scientists is the acceleration of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, which are occurring in spite of attempts by governments to restrain fossil fuel emissions.  According to the observatory, the average annual rate of increase for the past 10 years has been 2.07ppm – more than double the increase in the 1960s. The average increase in CO2 levels between 1959 to the present was 1.49ppm per year.

“The challenge we already knew was great is even more difficult”, said Kelly Levin, a researcher with the World Resources Institute in Washington. “But even with an increased level of reductions necessary, it shows that a 2°C goal is still attainable –if we act ambitiously and immediately.”

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com