Today, the cement industry has one of the highest environmental impacts globally. With COWI as consultant, Aalborg Portland is looking into the possibilities of carbon capture through the EUDP-funded project GreenCem – an important step towards a more sustainable cement production.
Despite significant progress in energy efficiency, the use of alternative fuels and new types of cement, the cement sector has the second-largest share of total direct industrial carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions on a global scale.
Aalborg Portland is the single largest emitter of CO₂ in Denmark, accounting for 2.2 million tonnes of CO₂ a year, or some four per cent of the total Danish emissions. Consequently, capturing CO₂ resulting from production is absolutely vital if Denmark is to meet the objective of reducing its carbon emissions by 70 per cent in 2030. COWI has been tasked to dive deeper into the issue via the EUDP-funded project GreenCem:
“Along with Power-to-X, carbon capture is one of the technologies that can contribute to reducing the climate impact in Denmark and globally. The technology has a huge potential, but is not yet widely used, so we look forward to – together with Aalborg Portland and the other GreenCem project partners – taking a key step in terms of developing the domestic market for carbon capture,” says Jeppe Grue, Technical Director in COWI.
Among other things, COWI will look into the possibilities of establishing a carbon capture facility at Aalborg Portland and assess how CO₂ from the cement production can be used to develop green e-fuels for the transportation industry. In addition, COWI will prepare a conceptual study for a carbon capture test facility with an annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes and a large-scale facility with an annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes.
The main purpose of the GreenCem project is to identify the most promising carbon capture technology and develop an integrated carbon capture facility that is uniquely adapted to the process conditions at Aalborg Portland in terms of available thermal energy, flue gas composition and site logistics, leading to the lowest possible carbon capture cost.
The project will also investigate the possibilities for storage and utilisation of the CO₂, which will entail life-cycle analyses and an assessment of the technical, financial and sustainability aspects of the possible solutions.
The key outcome of the project will be a technical and economic decision basis for Aalborg Portland and the project partners, to consider on further steps in terms of a test facility and, in the long term, a large-scale facility, including the need for support and financing.