CEMEX has announced that its US operations have been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Energy to research, engineer and develop a pilot for a breakthrough carbon capture unit. The project, anchored to CEMEX’s Victorville, California cement plant, will also contemplate cost-competitive solutions to completely close the loop on current carbon emissions.
In this initiative led by RTI international (RTI), a non-profit research institute, CEMEX is joining forces with UK-based Carbon Clean and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The goal of the consortium is to increase efficiencies and value in CEMEX’s overall building material fabrication process, while significantly reducing its CO2 footprint through the leverage of technological upgrades. The specific objectives of this project also include the development, optimisation and scaleup of specific CO2 capture process components, as well as incorporation of next-generation non-aqueous solvents. Integration aspects of the low-cost, modular, process intensification capture technology with CEMEX’s cement plant are also planned to be covered, together with subsequent cost evaluations and technical considerations for the transformation of captured CO2 into new marketable products.
“CEMEX is committed to being part of the solution to reduce carbon emissions globally and to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete to all of our customers by 2050,” said CEMEX USA President Jaime Muguiro. “We cannot achieve these without innovative technology and collaborative relationships with both public and private organisations who share a commitment to climate action. This grant gives us an excellent opportunity to further develop a new technology to help us all reach our goals.”
“With CEMEX being a project partner and technology stakeholder, the design and integration of the capture system with its cement plant, and subsequent use of the CO2 at its concrete plants are set to align with the industry’s needs”, said Paul Mobley, Research Chemical Engineer at RTI. “The development of this highly disruptive CO2 capture technology could accelerate industry adoption and thereby significantly reduce industrial emissions.”
“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is dedicated to translating science into industry solutions for addressing some of the most critical problems facing our nation,” said Xin Sun, interim associate laboratory director for energy science and technology at ORNL. “We look forward to applying our advanced manufacturing expertise to this project in support of a clean, efficient, flexible and secure energy future.”
Aniruddha Sharma, CEO of Carbon Clean, said: “CEMEX shares our mission to enable the net zero transition by developing affordable modularised carbon capture solutions. This latest grant from the US government endorses the importance of such work. We are looking forward to delivering this breakthrough project with CEMEX further strengthening our relationship and helping to decarbonise the cement industry.”
CEMEX announced in 2020 its Climate Action strategy, defining a global target of a 35% reduction of CO2 emissions per ton of cementitious products by 2030. To complement this strategy with a longer-term vision, CEMEX also established an ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete to all its customers globally by 2050.
CEMEX is successfully introducing Vertua®, its low carbon and net-zero CO2 products, in the countries where it has a presence. Vertua is the result of the work done by the CEMEX’s Research and Development Centre in Switzerland, and it is a milestone towards carbon-neutral construction becoming a reality.