LIFE Project Cover Photo

"Solidia low CO2 cement : from cement production to precast industry"

Reference: LIFE15 CCM/FR/000116 | Acronym: SOLID LIFE

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The cement industry is energy intensive and produces significant quantities of greenhouse gases. It accounted for 2-2.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions in 2013, or 6.5% of the estimated total worldwide anthropogenic emissions of 37 gigatonnes, according to figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency. Some 60% of the CO2 emissions in cement manufacturing are generated during the high-temperature transformation of limestone, a process known as ?decarbonation?.

The EU has set itself a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and a long-term goal of reducing emissions by 80-95% by 2050. Aware of the environmental impacts, cement producers have already taken major measures to reduce cement production-related CO2 emissions. However, such approaches are reaching their limits. The industry must develop new products and technologies that mitigate CO2 emissions in order for it to meet the requirements of EU climate change mitigation policy and to contribute to the transition towards a low emission and climate-resilient economy.


OBJECTIVES

The SOLID LIFE project aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of producing low-emission cement and concrete products on an industrial scale in existing industrial installations. The new products would have cost the same to make as the conventional Portland cement but have superior performance and reduce CO2 emissions by 70%.

The project planned to make use of a low-calcite and non-hydraulic binder called Solidia, which has been under development by the beneficiary since 2013 and subject to testing in Germany, Hungary and the US. The objective was to validate the CO2 savings observed at laboratory scale, through pilot-scale and industrial trials in real cement production facilities, and then in precasting facilities requiring adapted curing chambers with CO2 input. The project also aimed to increase stakeholders? awareness of the potential emissions reductions and climate action benefits, in line with European policy targets.


RESULTS

The Solidia breakthrough cement/concrete technology was developed in line with the project proposal. While the project proved that the Solidia solution can deliver expected performances and be economically viable (depending on the implementation context), the pace of development was slower than expected, which led to significant departures from the original plans and the reduced scales of the results and impact of the project.

On the other hand, the calculations made during the project showed that a shift from a conventional technology (e.g. Portland cements) to Solidia can reduce carbon footprint by 32% to 67% (cement production and concrete production). This confirms the ambition indicated in the project proposal. Although it is not sufficiently clear at this stage, the project beneficiaries say that this shift will be pursued in the near future, with several pilot and semi-industrial trials foreseen on the short term at European concrete precasters. This indicates that Solidia can penetrate the market in the future.

The project assessed more than 30 different European clinker production lines from LafargeHolcim for Solidia clinker production, carrying out thermodynamic simulations for each plant based on the available raw materials. From these results, the project team then estimated the feasibility of their production. A total of five raw mixes were tested at laboratory scale with materials from the LafargeHolcim plants in Koromacno, Croatia, and Malagoszcz, Poland. Limestone and marls (as calcium sources) were tested with different sands as silica sources. Using the X-ray fluorescence technique (XRF) technique, the raw materials were analysed and milled in the right proportions to reach the targeted chemistries. Lab static kilns were used to assess the potential clinker quality. The obtained results confirmed the predictions of thermodynamics simulations. Similar trials were then performed at pilot scale at IbuTec facilities in Germany, using a two stages pre-heater kiln equipped with a rotary cooler; two tonnes of each clinker were produced. In this way, the project confirmed the robustness of the solution for clinker production and its production in rotary kilns.

Solidia Technologies created concrete specimens from two different concrete mixes with similar mix design (one Solidia cement and one Portland cement reference concrete). Tests showed that their resistance to abrasion and freeze thaw was good and very similar in both mixes. The Solidia concrete showed significantly less creep deformation and lower drying shrinkage than the PC (Portland cement) reference mix.

Two types of concrete block paver products were then produced in plant trials by a UK pre-caster and placed by the AB BRE (as an independent body) into exposure conditions for long-term exposure to natural weathering and in aggressiveThe Solidia breakthrough cement/concrete technology was developed in line with the project proposal. While the project proved that the Solidia solution can deliver expected performances and be economically viable (depending on the implementation context), the pace of development was slower than expected, which led to significant departures from the original plans and the reduced scales of the results and impact of the project.

On the other hand, the calculations made during the project showed that a shift from a conventional technology (e.g. Portland cements) to Solidia can reduce carbon footprint by 32% to 67% (cement production and concrete production). This confirms the ambition indicated in the project proposal. Although it is not sufficiently clear at this stage, the project beneficiaries say that this shift will be pursued in the near future, with several pilot and semi-industrial trials foreseen on the short term at European concrete precasters. This indicates that Solidia can penetrate the market in the future.

The project assessed more than 30 different European clinker production lines from LafargeHolcim for Solidia clinker production, carrying out thermodynamic simulations for each plant based on the available raw materials. From these results, the project team then estimated the feasibility of their production. A total of five raw mixes were tested at laboratory scale with materials from the LafargeHolcim plants in Koromacno, Croatia, and Malagoszcz, Poland. Limestone and marls (as calcium sources) were tested with different sands as silica sources. Using the X-ray fluorescence technique (XRF) technique, the raw materials were analysed and milled in the right proportions to reach the targeted chemistries. Lab static kilns were used to assess the potential clinker quality. The obtained results confirmed the predictions of thermodynamics simulations. Similar trials were then performed at pilot scale at IbuTec facilities in Germany, using a two stages pre-heater kiln equipped with a rotary cooler; two tonnes of each clinker were produced. In this way, the project confirmed the robustness of the solution for clinker production and its production in rotary kilns.

Solidia Technologies created concrete specimens from two different concrete mixes with similar mix design (one Solidia cement and one Portland cement reference concrete). Tests showed that their resistance to abrasion and freeze thaw was good and very similar in both mixes. The Solidia concrete showed significantly less creep deformation and lower drying shrinkage than the PC (Portland cement) reference mix.

Two types of concrete block paver products were then produced in plant trials by a UK pre-caster and placed by the AB BRE (as an independent body) into exposure conditions for long-term exposure to natural weathering and in aggressive

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE15 CCM/FR/000116
Acronym: SOLID LIFE
Start Date: 15/06/2016
End Date: 30/04/2019
Total Budget: 3,830,320 €
EU Contribution: 2,196,012 €
Project Location:
Project Website: http://www.lafargeholcim.com/

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: OR Lafarge Centre de Recherche
Legal Status: PCO
Address: 95 rue du Montmurier, 38290, SAINT QUENTIN FALLAVIER,
Contact Person: Vincent Meyer
Email: vincent.meyer@lafargeholcim.com
Tel: 33664715941
Fax:


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors
  • Renewable energies

KEYWORDS

  • emission reduction
  • energy efficiency

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)
  • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.2010)

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
OR Lafarge Centre de Recherche Coordinator
Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH, Austria Participant
LafargeHolcim Cement Industrial Performance - IPS (TCEA), France Participant
SOLIDIA TECHNOLOGIES, United States Participant
Building Research Establishment Limited, United Kingdom Participant
Lafarge Cement S.A., Poland Participant

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