Heidelberg and Linde to build large-scale CCU facility

Article by Kerry Hebden

ONE OF the largest building materials companies in the world, Heidelberg Materials, has teamed up with industrial gases company Linde to build and operate a state-of-the-art CO2 capture and liquefaction plant.  

The joint venture, called Capture-to-Use (CAP2U), is being designed and built by Linde Engineering and is scheduled to start operations in 2025 at Heidelberg Materials' Lengfurt cement plant in Germany. Cement production is a major contributor of greenhouse gases, producing an estimated 7% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions. 

The facility will capture CO2 that has been separated and collected directly from part of the exhaust gas stream from the cement clinker kiln, before being processed via an amine scrubbing system specially developed for flue gases.  

The planned volume of purified and liquefied CO2 is around 70,000 t/y, and the vast majority will be reused as a valuable raw material in manufacturing applications in both the food and chemical industries.  

A smaller proportion will be used by Heidelberg Materials to drive forward new CO2 recycling and recarbonation technologies, Heidelberg said. 

The technology is the same as that used in Heidelberg’s Norwegian cement plant in Brevik, which has now been scaled up from laboratory tests to industrial-level. The Brevik CCUS facility will capture and store 50% of the plant’s annual emissions once it comes online in 2024. 

Heidelberg and Linde are financing the plant, and the project has also received a supplementary €15m (US$16.4m) from the Decarbonisation of Industry funding programme on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). 

Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials said: “We are pleased to implement the world's first large-scale CCU project in the cement industry together with our partner Linde. As part of our ambitious global CCUS strategy, we are currently driving forward a number of different industrial-scale carbon capture and utilisation projects. This way, we aim to identify viable and efficient ways to reduce our carbon footprint and reuse CO2.” 

Partnering with Canada

Heidelberg Materials has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian government in support of Heidelberg’s project to develop a full-scale carbon capture and storage facility at the firm’s Edmonton cement plant in Alberta. 

The new facility is scheduled to be operational by late 2026 and will capture more than 1m t/y of CO2.  

“The government of Canada’s commitment is a great acknowledgment of our efforts and marks yet another key milestone in our eager decarbonisation journey,” von Achten said. “Our North American sites and the Edmonton CCUS facility in particular play a vital role in achieving Heidelberg Materials’ ambitious CO₂ reduction commitment. We will work hard to quickly progress this industry-leading project.” 

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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