Lafarge starts low-carbon fuel research project

Lafarge starts low-carbon fuel research project
12 January 2018

Lafarge Canada Inc, in cooperation with the University of Calgary, Queen’s University and Pembina Institute, is carrying out a million-dollar study on the environmental benefits of introducing lower-carbon fuels at its Exshaw Cement plant in Alberta, Canada.

“Our estimates show each 20 per cent incremental replacement of natural gas at the Exshaw Cement Plant with lower carbon fuels could result in the elimination of nearly 75,000tpa of CO2. This is the equivalent of taking over 16,000 cars off the road annually. While these are preliminary estimates, this research project will assess these figures precisely and in the local context,” said Rob Cumming, environmental director at Lafarge.

Eight lower-carbon fuels will be put under closer scrutiny, including renovation/demolition waste, non-recyclable plastic, carpets and textiles, shingles, treated wood products, tyre-derived fuels and rubber. These fuels have been successfully used at other Lafarge cement works in Canada and around the world.

Studies into the impacts to air quality and traffic expect few changes by introducing lower-carbon fuels at the cement plant. The additional research will also measure the environmental aspects of sourcing, processing and full-scale commercial operation of each alternative fuel compared with fossil fuels.

Extra funding to the project is being provided by Alberta Innovates, Emissions Reduction Alberta, Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It includes research by Millenium EMS Solutions Ltd, Geocycle and WSP Global Inc.

“Achieving Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement requires all parts of the economy to cut their emissions,” said Ben Israel, an analyst at the Pembina Institute. “With the cement industry contributing nearly five per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it’s encouraging to see Lafarge proactively seeking to reduce their emissions. Using lower carbon fuels in cement manufacturing is a great way to quickly achieve meaningful reductions.”

Published under Cement News