RESEARCH PROCESS

Research will include a Life Cycle Analysis to measure emissions associated with the sourcing, processing and full-scale commercial operation of each lower carbon fuel compared to natural gas. Advanced computers will simulate any potential atmospheric changes from introducing these fuels in what is known as Air Dispersion Modelling. These predictions will be compared to current operations and provincial air quality objectives and be used to identify potential health risks in a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA).

What is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
LCA is a decision-making tool used to identify environmental burdens and evaluate the environmental impact of a product, process or service over its complete life cycle. In the case of lower carbon fuels, the LCA will evaluate the emissions associated with the sourcing, processing, and combustion of lower carbon fuels compared to natural gas.
What do we know about the CO2 emissions associated with cement production?
CO2 emissions from cement production come from fuel combustion (40 per cent) and chemical reaction (60 per cent). Cement production accounts for 5 per cent of CO2 emissions globally and 1.4 per cent nationally. Options for reducing emissions include energy efficiency, reducing clinker content and use of lower carbon fuels.
What are the options to be assessed in the LCA?
The LCA will assess business-as-usual: the cement plant continues to use fossil fuels and lower carbon fuels are sent to the landfill. It will also evaluate the implications of introducing lower carbon fuels: cement plant uses a mix of lower carbon fuels and fossil fuels.
What is Air Dispersion Modelling?
Air Dispersion Modelling uses advanced computers to simulate how pollutants disperse in the atmosphere.
How is it conducted?
The model reproduces the release of pollutants from Lafarge, Baymag and Graymont over a 30-km by 30-km grid. These air pollutant concentrations are calculated at numerous receptor locations within the grid. Background ambient air concentration is also added to these predictions to account for other sources of pollutants.
How does Air Dispersion Modelling support Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA)?
Air Dispersion Modelling determines changes related to introducing lower carbon fuels. These predicted pollutant concentrations are compared with baseline metrics of operations and provincial air quality objectives in an HHRA.
What is a HHRA?
HHRA is a tool for identifying potential health risks and determining areas that need further assessment. An HHRA is typically segmented into five parts: problem formulation, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, conclusions and recommendations.
What are the objectives of the HHRA?
To update Lafarge’s current HHRA, provide detailed assessment of chemicals associated with plant activities and revise current exposure and hazard data.
Who does the HHRA take into consideration?
Residents in the area and recreational users.
What sources are evaluated?
The HHRA evaluates emissions and fugitive sources from Lafarge Exshaw, Baymag and Graymont. It calculates non-industrial, local emissions including automobiles, rail traffic and home heating. It also assesses scenarios that assume the facility does not exist.