HeidelbergCement’s US subsidiary Lehigh Hanson and Silicon Valley-based materials technology company, Fortera are partnering to implement a new type of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology. The technology is involved in the production of cement and includes capturing CO2 from the furnace exhaust and refining it into a cement material.
The pilot installation will be at the Lehigh’s Redding California cement facility. The process is expected to achieve 60% reduction in the CO2 emissions per tonne of product. The cement created at this facility would be the first cement material commercially manufactured from CO2 collected directly from the cement kiln.
Dr. Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement said: “Carbon capture and utilization or storage (CCUS) is one key lever to significantly reduce otherwise unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions in the cement industry. This is why building new partnerships towards CCUS and investing in breakthrough technologies are a core part of HeidelbergCement’s climate strategy.”
Fortera’s proprietary recarbonation (ReCarbTM) process works by tapping into the existing feedstock and equipment at the plant. The production happens as usual from the quarry to the kiln. Instead of releasing the CO2 from the furnace exhaust, it is captured and mineralised into a cementitious material.
This material can be used by concrete producers as a Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) or as a cementitious binder for preformed concrete materials like bricks, blocks or precast structures.
HeidelbergCement Carbon Capture Technology Projects
The Lehigh’s Redding California cement facility is not the first carbon capture initiative of HeidelbergCement. The company’s pilot installation of a carbon capture technology was constructed at HeidelbergCement’s Lixhe plant in Belgium in 2017. It has the capacity of taking out 25,000 tons of CO2 per year.
The company also plans to build a four times larger carbon capture facility in its Hanover cement plant. It aims to capture 100,000 tons of CO2 per year. The first project design phase is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021 and the whole project should be ready by 2025.
The partnership of HeidelbergCement with Fortera is one of several pilot projects and technologies for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) of the company. It is also one that marks yet another decarbonization initiative by the cement industry.