Innovative project to slash CO2 emissions from cement and lime sectors progresses into FEED phase

The Low Emissions Intensity Lime & Cement (LEILAC) consortium today announced that the ground-breaking project to demonstrate an innovative carbon capture technology for the cement and lime sector, has completed the Preliminary Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) study for the pilot plant successfully and on time. The project will now enter the full Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase following a decision taken at the General Assembly meeting hosted by ECN on the 29th September in Petten (Netherlands), where results from the preliminary project phase were reviewed.

The 5-year LEILAC project, supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, aims to apply Calix’s Direct Separation technology to cement and lime plants, and validate the resulting process demands and performance. Once proven, and scaled up to apply to a fully size production plant, this technology should enable both the cement and lime industries to capture their unavoidable process carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for minimal energy penalty (just compression) and at comparable capital costs to conventional emitting equipment.

Throughout the pre-FEED a number of initial design evaluation and performance studies have been successfully undertaken for the pilot plant, with the aim of reducing the major scale-up risks. A detailed Basis of Design (BoD) of the pilot plant was created, fulfilling all of the requirements of the project. The exact site of the LEILAC pilot unit within the host plant at Lixhe has also been agreed and tie-in points identified.

In addition to a recommendation on the design option for development, costs for the pilot’s construction have been evaluated to within a ±30% level of accuracy.

During the FEED phase a detailed design of the pilot and its equipment will be developed, along with its integration into the HeidelbergCement plant at Lixhe, Belgium. The process for construction of the plant will be determined, and a ±15% cost estimate generated for approval. This will underpin the Final Investment Decision in 2017. 

Health and Safety considerations remain a core pillar of the LEILAC consortium and as such a full Hazard and Environment study with outputs feeding into the design of the LEILAC plant has been completed. Governance procedures and protocols have been put in place and are operating effectively, and engagement with the local community around the Lixhe plant has commenced.          

"his announcement marks a significant milestone and further demonstrates the momentum which is building around the LEILAC project. The completion of the pre-FEED has been achieved in line with the project schedule and is testament to the strong level of collaboration which has been cultivated between the consortium partners, who have all worked together to make significant progress on this breakthrough project."

Phil Hodgson, Calix MD and CEO and Chairman of the LEILAC Executive Board

"We are really encouraged with the progress we have made since announcing the launch of the project in January 2016 and are looking forward to pushing ahead on the next phase with the aim of completing our FEED study in 2017."

The consortium is led by technology provider Calix, and comprises Heidelberg Cement, CEMEX, Tarmac, Lhoist, Amec Foster Wheeler, ECN, Imperial College, PSE, Quantis and the Carbon Trust. It is supported by CEMBUREAU, ECRA, and EuLA. The project aims to apply and demonstrate a breakthrough technology that will enable Europe’s cement and lime industries to reduce their carbon footprint significantly. In addition to the H2020 grant, the consortium is contributing €9 million towards the project. 

The consortium also anticipates that the pilot site’s visitor centre will be opened later this year, ahead of plan, in light of the interest shown towards the project.

The consortium also anticipates that the pilot site’s visitor centre will be opened later this year, ahead of plan, in light of the interest shown towards the project.

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LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement) will pilot a breakthrough technology that has the potential to enable both Europe’s cement and lime industries to reduce their emissions dramatically while retaining, or even increasing international competitiveness.

The best available technologies for cement and lime have no carbon capture capability.  The international and EU community recognises that CO2 emissions contribute to climate change, and the most practical approach to reducing such emissions to-date for the cement and lime industries has been to increase kiln efficiencies and utilise alternative fuels.  Nevertheless, Direct Separation with CO2 capture has the potential to directly compete on an efficiency basis with the state-of-the-art emitting technology. Once proven at a suitable scale (approximately within 5 years for the lime industry, and likely more than 10 years for a larger cement plant) this will become the Best Available Technology for both industries independent of CO2 prices, de-risking the decarbonisation investments needed for plant owners.

Direct Separation provides a common platform for CCS in both the lime and cement industries, and can effectively “future-proof” these industries against tighter emissions standards for CO2 capture.


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