Cement is the second most consumed substance on Earth after water – roughly 4.5 billion* tonnes per year! The cement industry also accounts for around five percent of global CO2 emissions. About two thirds of those emissions come from the limestone used to make cement and are unavoidable. To meet the European Union target for reduced CO2 emissions, around 60% of European cement plant capacity will need to deploy some form of carbon capture by 2050. Given the pressures from the EU ETS, and also significant R&D funds from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, some cement and lime companies are taking
real steps to help develop technologies to deal with their emissions.
For example, Project LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement) is supported with €12 million from EU research funds, and involves a consortium, lead by Calix, that includes industrial heavyweights HeidelbergCement, Cemex, Lhoist and Tarmac. Project LEILAC utilises the Calix Process – a world first, patented technology that changes the way the limestone is heated, to enable direct capture of the limestone-produced CO2. It requires no additional chemicals or processes, and is targeting no additional capital or operating penalty for the cement industry. The technology could also be developed with alternative or waste fuels or renewable energy, to ultimately achieve a zero-emissions cement.
*Reference: (Cembureau https://cembureau.eu/cement-101/key-facts-figures).