Scenario analysis of energy consumption and carbon emissions in Chinese aluminum life cycle and emissions reduction measures

Haojie Lu, Wanjun Wang, Min Dai, Wei-qiang* Chen, Lei Shi

China Environmental Science, 2021,41(1):451~462; DOI:10.19674/j.cnki.issn1000-6923.2021.0051

Exploring the energy conservation and emission reduction pathways of aluminum industry with high energy consumption and emissions intensity will help China to meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment under the Paris Agreement. By applying the material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA), this study sets 15 scenarios based on stock, technology, and energy structure to quantify the energy consumption and carbon emissions of Chinese aluminum industry during 1990~2100. This study also explores the potential of energy conservation and emission reduction in different pathways. Chinese aluminum stock will peak during 2040~2050 (455~733 million tons);the primary aluminum production will peak before 2030 (27~41 million tons); the secondary aluminum production will peak during 2050~2060(23~48 million tons), and will exceed the primary aluminum production during 2035~2040. The aluminum industry can achieve the target that energy consumption and carbon emissions should reach the peak by 2030, but only in the scenario which has lowest stock level, the most advanced technology and the optimal energy structure , can China achieve the emission reduction goal. Improving technology is the optimal measure of energy conservation and emission reduction (>45%). To complete the low-carbon transformation of aluminum industry, the main task is to improve technology level, especially improve the recycling rate of aluminum scrap and the proportion of secondary aluminum.