On 06.12.2019, the four European cement producers Buzzi Unicem – Dyckerhoff, HeidelbergCement AG, Schwenk Zement KG and Vicat founded the joint research corporation CI4C – Cement Innovation for Climate – which is currently waiting for final approval from the antitrust authorities. Aim of the corporation is to realise the joint research project catch4climate, which will investigate the practical applicability of the Oxyfuel Carbon Capture technology in the cement production process.
The oxyfuel technology (from oxygen and fuel) is a clinker burning technology where pure oxygen is introduced into the kiln system instead of ambient air to assure proper combustion of all primary and secondary fuels for heat generation. In this way, exhaust gas with very high purity of CO2 is produced in the kiln, which considerably improves the CO2 capture potential. The goal is to capture 100 % of the CO2 emissions of a cement plant in a cost-efficient way. The catch4climate project will investigate options for the widespread use of this carbon capture technology in cement plants in order to enable a subsequent use of the captured CO2 for instance as raw material in other industrial processes (CCU, CCS). With this project, the European cement industry could contribute to the significant reduction of process-related CO2 emissions, thereby providing an important contribution to climate protection.
In the frame of the catch4climate project, the four partner companies of the CI4C research corporation will build and operate an oxyfuel test facility on a semi-industrial scale at the premises of the Mergelstetten cement plant in Southern Germany. Upon receipt of all necessary operational and emission-related permits, the official launch of the project is planned for 2020.