Resource efficiency and energy efficiency (REEE) in the Portuguese ceramic industry: Towards net zero carbon production

Ian M. Reaney a,* Ben Walsh b, Paula M. Vilarinho c
a) Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

b) Transforming Foundation Industries, Innovate UK, UK

c) Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

The Portuguese ceramic industry constitutes 0.5% of Gross Domestic product in Portugal, far higher than most other European nations, and thus it is essential this sector is decarbonised, cost-effectively to preserve jobs and national revenue. Moreover, the small size of the country and the co-location of ceramic factories dominantly in northern Portugal lowers the logistical barriers to act collectively to form networks and engage in collective strategies to push towards net zero carbon production. This article considers Portugal as an ideal case study for strategic and collective action to develop and facilitate carbon mitigation strategies. The article focusses mainly on current and future resource efficiency and energy efficiency strategies but additionally assesses the role of fuel switching (H2 vs electrification) and low energy densification technologies.