Solar MEAD project receives US$3.2m funding

Solar MEAD project receives US$3.2m funding
20 February 2023

Synhelion has announced that the US Department of Energy awarded US$3.2m to Solar MEAD, a joint project headed by CEMEX, Sandia National Laboratories,and Synhelion, which aims to decarbonise cement production.

Solar MEAD aims to replace the use of fossil fuels with concentrated solar thermal (CST) energy in clinker production. CEMEX and Synhelion have been collaborating to introduce CST in the cement production process, achieving the first successful laboratory-scale demonstrative pilot in 2022 by producing the first-ever solar clinker. Sandia Laboratories will contribute unique research facilities as part of the National Solar Thermal Test Facility, and subject matter expertise to help accelerate the adaptation of the technology to cement manufacturing.

“Few renewable technologies are capable of generating heat at the temperatures needed to process raw cement feedstock,” said Nathan Schroeder, Sandia researcher and principal investigator for the Solar MEAD project. “This project will advance our understanding of how to use concentrating solar technology to gather and deliver the heat to existing cement production facilities and will have cross-cutting relevance to other ore processing industries such as refractory, ceramics, and battery production.” 

The project will investigate methods to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, lower process temperatures, and increase the efficiency of clinker formation using solar energy. 

Published under Cement News