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Variation Trend and Driving Factors of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Chinese Magnesium Production

Gao, Feng, Liu, Yu, Nie, Zuo-Ren, Gong, Xianzheng, Wang, Zhihong
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.21 pp. 12662-12669
energy, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, inventories, issues and policy, magnesium, world markets, China
As the largest magnesium producer in the world, China is facing a great challenge of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. In this paper, the variation trend and driving factors of GHG emissions from Chinese magnesium production were evaluated and the measures of technology and policy for effectively mitigating GHG emissions were provided. First, the energy-related and process-oriented GHG inventory is compiled for magnesium production in China. Then, the driving forces for the changes of the energy-related emission were analyzed by the method of Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition. Results demonstrated that Chinese magnesium output from 2003 to 2013 increased by 125%, whereas GHG emissions only increased by 16%. The emissions caused by the fuels consumption decline most significantly (from 28.4 to 6.6 t CO₂eq/t Mg) among all the emission sources. The energy intensity and the energy structure were the main offsetting factors for the increase of GHG emissions, while the scale of production and the international market demand were the main contributors for the total increase. Considering the improvement of technology application and more stringent policy measures, the annual GHG emissions from Chinese primary magnesium production will be controlled within 22 million tons by 2020.