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A world first: Holcim produces 100% recycled clinker

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World Cement,

Holcim has produced the world's first clinker composed entirely of recycled minerals, at its Altkirch plant in France.

As the intermediary product between limestone and finished cement, a 100% recycled clinker entails a 100% recycled cement and the possibility for a 100% recycled concrete. As such, this is an important step towards cutting the carbon intensity of the cement industry, allowing for old industrial waste materials to be removed from waste streams and reimplemented in a productive manner.

What is clinker?

Clinker is traditionally produced through the calcination of limestone, heating it to around 650 – 1050°C, whereby quarried limestone undergoes thermal decomposition to form clinker, the active ingredient in cement powder which give it its compressive strength

Building the new from the old

In 2021, Holcim reported that it recycled 54 million t of materials across its business and is doubling down on this rate to reach 100 million t by 2030. The company recycled 6.6 million t of construction and demolition waste in 2021 and are scaling up to recycle 10 million t by 2025. The production of 100% recycled clinker is a major step in the shift to circular construction, and Holcim is leading the change.

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