CCS - Carbon Capture and Storage

Due to the long term growth of the global economy and the development in many markets of the world, the demand for cement and concrete construction materials will continue to increase significantly. Within this context, the technical potential to reduce overall CO2 emissions from cement manufacturing with today’s technology is limited and definitely less than what abatement strategies currently being discussed demand and what stakeholders expect. The capture of carbon dioxide and its geological storage, often referred to as “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) is seen today as an emerging technology capable of reducing CO2 emissions significantly.


According to different abatement scenarios and the International Energy Agency’s Roadmap, the cement industry is expected to contribute to CO2 mitigation globally by a set of different measures among which CCS plays a key role. Against this background ECRA has been working on carbon capture research since 2007 in a long-term project designed to examine the capture of carbon dioxide as a prerequisite for a safe geological storage of CO2.


ECRA’s goal is to examine the technical and economic feasibility of this technology as a potential application in the cement industry. 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 demand for operating CCS plants will be taken into account. ECRA’s CCS project comprises five phases. Phases I, II and III have been completed and phase IV is currently underway, in which the possibility of initiating an industrial-scale oxyfuel kiln is being examined.


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.

Cooperation with Norcem Brevik
For several years ECRA has been cooperating with the Norcem Brevik cement plant in Norway where different post-capture technology providers have already been testing their technology under realistic conditions The Norcem project consists of four individual technologies:

  • Solid sorbent technology by RTI
  • Amine technology by Aker Solutions
  • Membrane technologies by a consortium under the lead of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Carbonate looping by Alstom Power

Cooperation with CEMCAP
CEMCAP is a project funded by Horizon 2020 addressing CO2 capture from cement production by the demonstration of different CO2 capture technologies in an industrially relevant environment (TRL 6) based on the previous work of ECRA and Norcem. CO2 capture technologies with the greatest potential to be retrofitted to existing cement plants will be identified and a techno-economic decision basis formulated. The project duration is from 2015 to 2018. ECRA is involved as an industrial advisory group to give guidance to the research consortium and communicate the results within the European cement industry.


ECRA/CEMCAP/CLEANKER Workshop on Carbon Capture Technologies in the Cement Industry held in October 2018 in Brussels

ECRA/CEMCAP/CLEANKER Workshop held in October 2018 in Brussels

On 17 October 2018 the ECRA/CEMCAP/CLEANKER Workshop “Carbon Capture Technologies in the Cement Industry” took place in Brussels, attended by 88 participants from the cement industry, industry associations, research institutes, politicians, NGOs, universities and technology providers.

The workshop discussed the technological and economic framework for the application of carbon capture technologies in the cement industry. It highlighted the results of the three dedicated research projects:

1. ECRA’s carbon capture project, which proposes the demonstration of oxyfuel carbon capture technology in two cement plants,

2. conclusions from CEMCAP’s experimentsand techno-economic assessment and

3. the first year results and engineering of the CLEANKER project.

CLEANKER is a project that started 2017, also funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. It addresses CO2 capture from cement production by demonstrating calcium looping (CaL) technology in the cement plant (TRL 7).

Further presentations at the workshop encompassed options for direct separation capture technology and carbon capture and storage/utilisation (CCS, CCU). The workshop included a poster session and gave the floor to discussing the portfolio of technologies for carbon capture and their perspective for demonstration in the cement industry at industrial scale.


 The workshop agenda is available here.

 All presentations and posters shown can be downloaded here.

The workshop was followed on 18 October 2018 by a presentation of the CEMBUREAU Low Carbon Economy Roadmap in the European Parliament. It highlighted the importance of carbon capture in the cement industry and of its demonstration as breakthrough technology for achieving CO2 emission reduction targets according to the Paris Climate Agreement. The report “Building Carbon Neutrality in Europe” can be downloaded from CEMBUREAU here.


2nd ECRA/CEMCAP Workshop held in November 2017
On 6-7 November 2017 the second of three ECRA/CEMCAP workshops took place in Duesseldorf on the topic of “Carbon Capture Technologies in the Cement Industry”. The workshop began with a poster session the evening before and was attended by over 80 participants from the cement industry, industry associations, research institutes, NGOs, universities and technology providers. All presentations from the workshop and the posters from the poster session can be downloaded here. Details of the date and location of the third workshop, which is scheduled to take place in October 2018, will be made available soon.

ECRA CCS Project: Technical reports

ECRA CCS Project Phase IV.A
Download as PDF file

ECRA CCS Project Phase III
Download as PDF file

ECRA CCS Project Phase II
Download as PDF file

ECRA CCS Project Phase I
Download as PDF file

Animation: A Cement Plant with CCS

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ECRA Chair University of Mons

Further information