The world looks to Lixhe for carbon-neutral cement


Without cement, there would be no foundations, no roads, no bridges, no houses... But around 8% of all CO₂ emissions worldwide are due to the production of this basic raw material for concrete, one of the most important building materials. The CBR cement plant in Lixhe (Liège) is working on an ecological solution to help stop global warming.

The EU wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% worldwide by 2050. This requires the development of new technologies on a large scale within the industry.

In a traditional cement kiln, CO₂ mixes with flue gas, making it more difficult and expensive to extract later. This is why the parent company, cement giant HeidelbergCement of Hanover, Germany, recently added a small tower in Lixhe, next to the huge 80-metre tower. This is the test facility known as LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement), a technique for capturing 95% of the CO₂ from industrial processes over the long term, and storing or reusing it instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

The revolutionary aspect of the system is that the exhaust gases from the kiln do not come into direct contact with the limestone but transfer their heat to it through a special steel partition. The CO₂ released from the limestone can thus remain separate in an almost pure form. This requires no additional energy consumption and there are also many useful applications in development for this pure CO₂. Win-Win!