New waste technology to reduce CO2 emissions from cement manufacturers

Circular economy

Denmark A new Innovation Fund Denmark project will create technology that minimizes CO2 emissions from cement manufacturers while also providing fuel with a low CO2 footprint.

A new research cooperation will use pyrolysis technology to lower the CO2 impact of numerous significant enterprises and the use of fossil fuels. FLSmidth and DTU are the project’s initiators. DTU Chemical Engineering leads the project, which also includes DTU Management, FLSmidth, Dampskibsselskabet Norden, MAN Energy Solutions SE, Topse, Geminor, and Finnsementti Oy.

The method is an extension of FLSmidth’s patented waste treatment reactor, which can already secure the use of a high fraction of waste as fuel in cement plants, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The technique will be further improved in the new CircFuel project so that the waste used offers both energy for cement manufacture and liquid fuel with a reduced CO2 footprint.

Technological advancement

In the project, FLSmidth’s reactor will be further developed using pyrolysis, which converts solid waste into gas, liquid, and a coke residue. The technology will be improved in order to increase liquid fuel production, and various technologies for improving the fuel qualities of the liquid will be researched. Three different process approaches will be examined for the use of the liquid pyrolysis product. This involves using the liquid fuel directly, a partial catalytic improvement on the cement plant, and external full hydrogenation of the pyrolysis oil.

Different applications for the pyrolysis oil products will also be researched. This includes direct usage at the cement factory, use as maritime fuel, and as a feed stream to refineries, where fuels can be supplied to industries such as heavy traffic and aviation fuels.

The goal of the project’s final phase is to commercialize the technology to cement plants all around the world. This method can minimize CO2 emissions and improve the operating economy of cement plants, as well as reduce landfills, particularly in developing countries, and the use of fossil fuels in the maritime industry.