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Optimizing Location of Bulk Metallic Minerals Processing Based on Greenhouse Gas Avoidance
Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
Received: 26 August 2011; in revised form: 24 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 December 2011 / Published: 12 December 2011
Abstract: The bulk minerals iron ore and bauxite cause significant greenhouse emissions in their processing to steel and aluminum respectively. The level of these emissions is highly dependent on the source of electrical and thermal energy. However, they also cause significant greenhouse gas emissions from their transportation across the globe for processing. This study examines these minerals from the perspective of greenhouse gas avoidance, examining the location of processing as an option for reducing transportation-based and process-based emissions. The analysis proposes a “radius of reduction” to define the potential for transporting ore to reduce emissions by offshore processing. Overall scenarios for localized steel production indicate potential for 85% reduction of transport emissions in the steel industry and 14% of overall industry emissions. Local high-carbon electricity grids and inefficient production mean that the benefit of reduced transportation is partially counteracted by increased processing emissions. The transportation of all global bauxite to Norway and other nations with low-emissions electricity for production of aluminum could result in an overall reduction of industry emissions of up to 44%.
Keywords: transportation; processing; greenhouse gas; minerals; iron ore; bauxite; aluminum
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MDPI and ACS Style
McLellan, B.C. Optimizing Location of Bulk Metallic Minerals Processing Based on Greenhouse Gas Avoidance. Minerals 2011, 1, 144-156.
McLellan BC. Optimizing Location of Bulk Metallic Minerals Processing Based on Greenhouse Gas Avoidance. Minerals. 2011; 1(1):144-156.
McLellan, Benjamin C. 2011. "Optimizing Location of Bulk Metallic Minerals Processing Based on Greenhouse Gas Avoidance." Minerals 1, no. 1: 144-156.