Background and aims of the project

The European cement industry has committed itself to contributing to climate protection measures and therefore to curbing its CO₂ emissions. CO₂ capture technologies, an essential part of all CO₂ reduction scenarios, are ready for large-scale demonstration in the cement industry.

The primary objective of CEMCAP was to prepare the ground for large-scale implementation of CO₂ capture in the European cement industry. To achieve this objective, CEMCAP aimed to:

  • Leverage to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 for the oxyfuel capture technology of cement plants and three fundamentally different post combustion capture technologies, all of them with a targeted capture rate of 90%
  • Identify the CO₂ capture technologies with the greatest potential to be retrofitted to existing cement plants in a cost and resource-effective manner, maintaining product quality and environmental compatibility
  • Formulate a techno-economic decision-basis for CO₂ capture implementation in the cement industry, where the current uncertainty regarding CO₂ capture cost is reduced by at least 50%
First clinker cooled with oxyfuel technology
First clinker cooled with oxyfuel technology

CO2 emissions from the cement industry constitute 7% (or 1.9 Gt annually) of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In 2013, approximately 20% of global CO2 emissions from cement production originated from Europe (EU28). Hence, a significant reduction in emissions from the cement industry is required for meeting the European and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets and maintaining industrial competitiveness. CO2 generation is an inherent part of the cement production process, due to the calcination of the most important raw material, limestone (CaCO3 converted to CaO and CO2): About 60% of the CO2 emissions from cement production are due to this conversion, whereas 40% come from the burning of fuels (which are to a large extent fossil) to provide heat for the clinker production. There are currently no feasible methods to produce clinker and thus cement without releasing CO2 from CaCO3

Thus, a viable option to significantly reduce GHG emissions from the cement industry is CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS), where CO2 capture must be retrofitted to existing cement plants. Technologies developed for CO2 capture from power plants, many of them at TRL 7-8, will need adaptation to be retrofittable to cement plants. When considered for the cement sector, capture technologies are typically at TRL 4-5 or lower. Therefore, the CEMCAP project has been developed for bringing CO2 capture technologies for the cement industry to a higher TRL level and thus closer to deployment. By using the partners' existing knowledge base and existing research infrastructure from CO2 capture R&D in the power sector, four fundamentally different capture technologies (currently at TRL 4-5) will be developed to reach TRL 6 for cement plants. 

Relying on the experimental results combined with a comparative techno-economic and retrofitability analysis, CEMCAP will develop a decision-basis for CO2 capture implementation in the cement industry. This will provide a fundament for European cement producers to calculate plant-specific CCS business cases, and enable them to be at the forefront of adapting to an emerging carbon-constrained world, as e.g. outlined by the Global Commission on Economy and Climate. Two major ongoing CCS research projects in the cement industry will provide key results and knowledge, thereby assuring complementarity of competences and results. From a European perspective, CEMCAP aims at broadening the portfolio of cost- and resource-effective options for CCS and thus the range of available options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

CO₂ capture technologies in practice

For successful large-scale use of CO2 capture in the cement industry, technologies must be further developed beyond the current state of the art. In order to bring the most promising retrofittable CO2 capture technologies to a higher TRL level and thus make them even more practical, CEMCAP is focusing on the following measures:

  • Identify a development horizon to close technological gaps in CO2 capture along the related innovation chains of cement and supplier industries.
  • Identify and pursue at least five potential innovations from CEMCAP research. In particular, CEMCAP is researching retrofittable CO2 capture technologies, as cement plants typically have a lifetime of up to 30-50 years. However, CEMCAP's results will go beyond this horizon. For example, CEMCAP intends to create a basis for cement production with little or almost no CO2 emissions.

Brussels workshop of ECRA, CEMCAP and CLEANKER

On 17 October 2018, the ECRA/CEMCAP/CLEANKER workshop "Carbon Capture Technologies in the Cement Industry" on the technological and economic framework for the application of CO₂ capture technologies in the cement industry took place in Brussels.

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CEMCAP - The Movie

CEMCAP aims to create the conditions for large-scale use of CO₂ capture technologies in the European cement industry.

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This project was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 641185. It aims to create the conditions for large-scale implementation of CO₂ capture in the European cement industry.

Person to contact

Do you have any questions on this subject?

Dr Johannes Ruppert
Environment and Plant technology

+49-211-45 78-254

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