CCS: Carbon Capture and Storage
The demand for cement and concrete construction materials will continue to increase significantly due to the long-term growth of the global economy and the development in many markets of the world. As a major global CO₂ emitter, the cement industry is focusing strongly on technologies for the mitigation of global CO₂ emissions, among which carbon capture and storage will play a key role.
The capture of carbon dioxide and its geological storage is a technology capable of reducing CO₂ emissions significantly. Against this background, ECRA has been working on carbon capture since 2007 in a long-term research project designed to examine the capture of carbon dioxide as a prerequisite for its safe geological storage, and the technical and economic feasibility of this technology as a potential application in the industry.
ECRA’s CCS project comprises several phases. Phases I - IV.B have been completed, with a major focus on oxyfuel technology and the possibility of initiating an industrial-scale oxyfuel kiln. ECRA lays strong emphasis on the global perspective of its research and also on sustainability. This implies that not only CO₂ emissions as such, but also the huge energy demands for operating CCS plants are taken into account.
It is already clear that capturing CO₂ in cement plants is technically feasible. The question of what to do with the captured CO₂, however, remains. ECRA’s current main focus is therefore to highlight the topic of CO₂ infrastructure, which is indispensable in order to enable captured CO₂ to be safely transported from its source to suitable storage sites or utilisation plants.
ECRA Academic Chair at the University of Mons
In 2013 ECRA established an academic chair entitled “CO2 to Energy: Carbon Capture in Cement Production and its Re-use” at the University of Mons (UMONS) in Belgium within the UMONS Research Institute for Energy.The main objective of the chair is to create a centre of scientific expertise in the specific field of carbon capture and re-use in cement production, and to promote research and innovation. It supports research activities by financing fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and undergraduate students. A particular research focus is placed on:
- Post-combustion, partial oxyfuel and total oxyfuel CO2 capture applied in the cement industry
- Flue gas treatment in CO2 capture (in particular de- NOx and de-SOx) that can be applied by absorption or adsorption; this includes not only oxyfuel combustion but also micro-pilot studies and projects on capture technologies as post-combustion
- The reuse of CO2 which can be achieved by various processes which convert CO2 into methanol or other compounds while benefitting from renewable electricity.
ECRA CCS Project: Technical reports
Animation: A Cement Plant with CCS
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ECRA Chair University of Mons