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LEILAC consortium secures funding

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World Cement,

The LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement) consortium has successfully secured €12 million in funding over five years from the European Commissioning Horizon 2020 Grant Programme. The consortium comprises HeidelbergCement, Cemex, Tarmac, Lhois, Amec Foster Wheeler, ECN, Imperial College, PSE, Quantis and the Carbon Trust, and is led by technology provider Calix. It aims to apply and demonstrate a breakthrough technology that will enable Europe’s cement and lime industries to reduce their carbon footprint significantly. The consortium will also contribute a further €9 million towards the project.

With the cement industry accounting for up to 5% of global CO2 emissions, and the lime sector having the highest CO2 intensity relative to turnover, both industries have made a continuous effort for years to improve their environmental performance. The have successfully reduced CO2 emissions from the production process, but cost effective carbon capture technologies are needed on a large scale to help reach the EU’s 80% emissions reductions target by 2050.

The LEILAC project aims to help the European industry to achieve these targets effectively and economically. Calix’s Direct Separation process provides a common platform for carbon capture in both the lime and cementindustries. This can help these sectors to thrive in the face of tighter international CO2 emissions regulations,where the only options may be to capture and store CO2 instead of emitting it into the atmosphere. Two-thirds of CO2 emissions from cement and lime production are generated through the breakdown oflimestone into lime and CO2 in furnaces. Calix’s technology re-engineers the existing process flows, where it iscapable of capturing almost pure CO2 released from the limestone - potentially with no additional energy costsor environmental impact. The system design is unique, as the furnace exhaust gases are not in direct contact with the limestone. In thisindirectly heated reactor, the energy from the heating gases is transferred to the limestone via a special steelvessel. The CO2 released from the limestone can therefore be separated in an almost pure form, offering aunique opportunity as the technology can capture these emissions without significant additional costs orincreased energy use. The technology is complementary with other carbon capture methods alreadydeveloped in the power and cement sector, such as oxyfuel, and can make use of alternative fuels.

For the first three years the project will focus on the finalisation of the design of the of the demonstration plant, which will be constructed at the HeidelbergCement plant in Lixhe, Belgium, following the necessary permits being secured. The pilot unit will then undergo two years of extensive testing in a standard operational environment, at a feed capacity of 240 tpd of cement raw meal and 200 t ground limestone, over a continuous basis for several weeks.

Fundamental research on the process demands and performance will be carried out to demonstrate that the technology works sufficiently and robustly enough to be scaled up to full operational use. The product results will be shared widely with the industry at key intervals during the testing.

Adapted from press release by

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