LafargeHolcim awarded US$1.5m grant for Florence carbon capture project

LafargeHolcim awarded US$1.5m grant for Florence carbon capture project
26 October 2020

LafargeHolcim has received a US$1.5m grant from the US Department of Energy to research and develop a system to capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions at its cement plant in Florence, Colorado, USA. The Swiss-based company is partnering with Svante Inc and other firms.

Jamie Gentoso, the CEO of US Cement at LafargeHolcim, said the company worked with Svante to build a pilot carbon-capture unit at a plant in British Columbia. "We started this initiative in November of last year," Mr Gentoso said. "The DOE grant allows us to continue the engineering on it. The hope is that we would be shovel-ready to go in 2023 and up and running at some point in 2024."

"In the US, the cement industry is only responsible for 1-2 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions. That said, we still have a carbon dioxide issue," he said.

Mr Gentoso said companies in Colorado have been more inclined to use the blended product than companies in other regions. But that’s not why LafargeHolcim has picked Colorado for the carbon-capture project. "One of the main reasons we chose this plant specifically is from a carbon-capture perspective, you have to capture it and you have to find a place for it," he added.

There are more options to do that in Colorado. Carbon dioxide is used to boost oil well production by injecting it underground, which increases pressure. "There are pipelines within 40 miles of our plant where people are actually mining carbon dioxide out of the ground for enhanced oil recovery," Mr Gentoso said.

And there are geologic formations where the gas can be stored. Carbon capture technology might be able to prevent the release of more than 700,000t of carbon a year from the plant.

Published under Cement News