CO2-neutral cement production: Rohrdorfer founds Net Zero Emission Labs

Germany has committed itself to climate neutrality by 2050 in the Paris climate protection agreement. The decarbonization of the cement industry is a significant building block on the way to Germany’s climate neutrality. On January 1, Rohrdorfer founded Net Zero Emission Labs GmbH to drive CO2-neutral cement production forward with even greater vigor. Under the leadership of Dr. Helmut Leibinger, an 18-strong team is working on innovative solutions to ensure that Rohrdorfer’s cement production will be CO2-neutral by 2038.

Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient cement production has long been on Rohrdorfer’s agenda. In 2011, for example, the company built Europe’s first – and so far only – waste heat power plant, with which it produces a third of its own electricity requirements from unused waste heat. In the same year, Germany’s first SCR plant went into operation. The exhaust gas catalyst reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 95%. With Germany’s commitment to the goals of the Paris climate protection agreement, the issue of CO2 neutrality has become increasingly important in recent years. Rohrdorfer was also a pioneer in this area in 2022 with the construction of the first CO2 recovery plant in the German cement industry. “The establishment of Net Zero Emission Labs is the logical step for us to be able to drive decarbonization forward in a targeted manner,” says Dr. Helmut Leibinger, Managing Director of Net Zero Emission Labs GmbH and head of the team. “As a self-sufficient company, we can act flexibly and design completely new approaches to solutions. Our work can be compared to that of a cleantech start-up that will revolutionize the cement industry.”

Net Zero Emission Labs GmbH currently consists of 18 experts from process engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry and economics. The team is to be expanded by a further nine members by the end of 2024. Challenging projects await the new additions, such as the construction of a larger CO2 recovery plant, collaboration as a project partner on the H2 Reallabor Burghausen, the construction of a pilot plant for the production of annealed clays, and the commissioning of a CO2 recovery plant at the Gmunden site. Many other projects are already in the planning stage.

“The decarbonization of industry is the great task of our generation. Rohrdorfer is treading this path with a firm goal in mind: CO2-neutral production by 2038. By founding the Net Zero Emission Labs, we are underlining the importance of our ‘race to zero emission’ within the group of companies,” says Mike Edelmann, Managing Director of Rohrdorfer.

In addition to Helmut Leibinger, Mike Edelmann and Anton Bartinger, the technical manager of the cement division at Rohrdorfer, will manage the business of Net Zero Emission Labs. The new company is based in Rohrdorf.


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