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Electrolyser-based process for decarbonating calcium carbonate prior to clinker production in the kiln


Technology Description

Calcination of limestone, in which calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is converted to calcium oxide (CaO) and carbon dioxide (CO2), is a key process of cement production that takes place in a kiln. A process is under development to instead electrochemically convert calcium carbonate into calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) in an electrolyser, producing a concentrated CO2/O2 steam (to which CO2 capture could be applied) and hydrogen (that could be used in subsequent stages of production). The calcium hydroxide can then be converted to calcium silicates needed for cement in a kiln.

Relevance for Net Zero

The TRL indicates that this option is at a lower phase of development, and it must be coupled with renewable electricity production in order to achieve considerable emissions reduction. Considerable progress would be required to bring it to commercialisation and enable it to compete with alternatives. However, it could enable electrification of cement production while also allowing for easier CO2 capture due to the concentrated CO2/O2 stream.

Key Countries

United States

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