Cement is responsible for over 7% of global emissions, producing 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 every year, understand the problem in full here.
Most of the CO2 in cement and concrete comes from the production of clinker, the critical ingredient in traditional cement, the glue that binds concrete together and is responsible for over 90% of concrete’s carbon footprint.
About one third of clinker-related emissions come from the energy used to produce clinker. Two-thirds of clinker-related emissions (process emissions) are the result of the chemical reaction that occurs when limestone (CaCO3), under intense heat, calcines (or decomposes) into quicklime (CaO) and CO2. The production of clinker, therefore, results in an unavoidable production of CO2.
While progress has been made reducing the CO2 footprint associated with the one third of emissions related to energy use, very little has been made reducing process emissions, even though these represent the largest source of CO2 emissions. Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) has been prioritised as the solution to process emissions, even though it is a very immature technology, will be exceptionally expensive, and will be operationally disruptive.
As a result, currently the cement industry is not on track to meet targets essential for 1.5°C compliance. We need to find a solution.
Instead of relying on capturing carbon during the cement production process, Ecocem has developed ACT, a breakthrough, scalable, low carbon cement technology which radically reduces the CO2 being released in the first place. It does this by minimising the amount of clinker used to manufacture cement and maximising the amount of low carbon cementitious alternatives instead.
ACT technology will accelerate access to scalable low-carbon, low-clinker, cost competitive cement technology for the cement and concrete industries. It has been subject to extensive technical validation and successfully demonstrated in industrial trials. The technology has recently achieved an ETA (European Technical Assessment), which proved ACT’s safety and performance. This independent assessment is a critical step towards a CE mark, which we expect later in the year. First commercial applications will follow shortly thereafter, and full market access will follow by 2026 in the European markets. This will enable the introduction of this new low carbon cement throughout Europe.
Widespread adoption of ACT technology which is compatible with numerous low carbon binders will ultimately reduce the excessive burden being placed on CCUS as a decarbonising technology.
To facilitate the rapid decarbonisation of the global cement industry, Ecocem will work closely with cement producers and make the technology as widely available as possible on an economically advantageous basis. The broad adoption of ACT is as being essential to achieving 1.5°C compliance and look forward to working with the cement industry to make this a reality.