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So what’s the carbon foot print of a wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar & 481m3 of concrete?

Tip o’ the hat to Ocotillo Wind Turbine Destruction and Callous Wind for this gem.

Andy’s Rant — August 4, 2014

Its carbon footprint is massive – try 241.85 tons of CO2.

Here’s the breakdown of the CO2 numbers.

To create a 1,000 Kg of pig iron, you start with 1,800 Kg of iron ore, 900 Kg of coking coal 450 Kg of limestone. The blast furnace consumes 4,500 Kg of air. The temperature at the core of the blast furnace reaches nearly 1,600 degrees C (about 3,000 degrees F).

The pig iron is then transferred to the basic oxygen furnace to make steel.

1,350 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg pig iron produced.

A further 1,460 Kg CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Steel produced so all up 2,810 Kg CO2 is emitted.

45 tons of rebar (steel) are required so that equals 126.45 tons of CO2 are emitted.

To create a 1,000 Kg of Portland cement, Calcium carbonate (60%), silicon (20%), aluminium (10%), iron (10%) and very small amounts of other ingredients are heated in a large kiln to over 1,500 degrees C to convert the raw materials into clinker. The clinker is then interground with other ingredients to produce the final cement product. When cement is mixed with water, sand and gravel forms the rock-like mass know as concrete.

An average of 927 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Portland cement. On average, concrete has 10% cement, with the balance being gravel (41%), sand (25%), water (18%) and air (6%). One cubic metre of concrete weighs approx. 2,400 Kg so approx. 240 Kg of CO2 is emitted for every cubic metre.

481m3 of concrete are required so that equals 115.4 tons of CO2 are emitted.

Now I have not included the emissions of the mining of the raw materials or the transportation of the fabricated materials to the turbine site so the emission calculation above would be on the low end at best.

Extra stats about wind turbines you may not know about:  Continue reading here….. (This guy nails it all)

concrete rebar base

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2 Comments on “So what’s the carbon foot print of a wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar & 481m3 of concrete?”

  1. sandcanyongal August 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Co2 emissions are just the beginning of the footprint of cement. How I wish this blog allowed photos. Here is a link to our local Tehachapi wind opposition group that has photos that I took this last weekend of Lehigh Cement Plant, Tehachapi. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tehachapi-Communities-for-Responsible-Energy-Development/210632038973095

    This cement plant supplies cement for many of the wind turbine tower pads. What you see are the emissions from their coal which spews tons of mercury into the air. Also the sky is brown from all the limestone dust.

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