Let’s give honour to a hidden champion of our “Cement Lime Gypsum” community: The global production of lime is many times smaller than that of “big brother” cement, however, lime is undoubtedly totally indispensable for our lives: steel, building materials, environmental technologies, paper, pharmaceuticals and many other products would be unthinkable without lime. Just like cement, there will be no world without lime – even if today’s lime production emits large amounts of CO2. In fact, the CO2-footprint of the lime industry is even bigger than that of the cement industry if calculated per ton of product.
Luckily, the lime industry too, has committed to carbon neutrality – and even climate positivity – by 2050. Research and development is at full steam, looking at biogenic fuels, optimized capture and carbonation technologies. My favourite would be to also consider electrical heating because this would allow the generation of a pure CO2-stream, ready to capture and utilize. Furthermore, if implemented along with suitable heat or electricity storage, a lime plant with its massive demand for electrical energy, could provide a considerable contribution to the stabilization of electric grids and thus would largely help solving one of the biggest challenges for the transition to green electricity. Although it seems like this would still need some more development, I am convinced that all those smart engineers working in this field today will find the right solutions.