D6.5: Final environmental LCA of the CLEANKER technology

This Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) evaluates the environmental impact of the carbon capture technology pilot constructed within the CLEANKER project at the Vernasca plant, in Italy.
The findings of this study show an overall reduction in carbon footprint of 72% to produce 1 t of cement compared to the baseline technology used today.
As the carbon footprint associated with the production of cement is mainly driven by the production of clinker itself (around 90%), this carbon footprint reduction is related to the production of clinker directly.
In comparison with other carbon capture technologies, the carbon footprint reduction is greater than for the full oxyfuel or the partial oxyfuel technology and in the same order of magnitude as the tail-end technologies (20% and 50%).
We explored different electricity and fuel mix projections in 2030. An electricity mix including a higher share of renewable energies and a fuel mix based on biowaste show an additional reduction of 30% in the carbon footprint to produce 1 t of clinker.
It should be highlighted that the carbon capture technology requires an additional need of fuel and electricity compared to the reference technology, and therefore involves a trade-off in environmental indicators other than carbon, such as the energy footprint and the water footprint. For these indicators, the carbon capture technology shows an increase of 51% for the energy footprint and 10% for the water footprint to produce 1 t of clinker.
The storage or use of the carbon captured leads to a relatively small increase in the clinker carbon footprint (from less than 1% to 10% of the positive climate impacts associated to the production of 1t of clinker depending on the storage or use scenario). The main carbon footprint drivers are the electricity for recompression related to the distance by pipeline needed to transport the CO2 captured, the fuel for the boat transport. Taking this into account, the most relevant storage site from an environmental performance viewpoint for the cement produced at Vernasca seems to be the saline aquifer site in Malossa or the
depleted gas field in Ravenna. Other aspects such as risk and public acceptance will be key to determine the final storage location.