FLSmidth and Mannok partner on SCM project

FLSmidth and Mannok partner on SCM project
15 August 2023

FLSmidth and Ireland-based cement producer Mannok are partnering on a new decarbonisation research project to maximise supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) in cement composition, using digitalisation and advanced predictive modelling.

SCMs are expected to play a key role in the cement industry’s pathway to net-zero. Covering a range of materials, from natural pozzolans to calcined clay and industrial byproducts, SCMs have a lower-carbon footprint than traditional Portland clinker used in cement production. Therefore, they offer a “surefire way to reduce CO2 emissions,” says Dr Wilson Ricardo Leal da Silva from FLSmidth’s Green Innovation team.

“The ultimate goal is to reduce the clinker factor from about 70 per cent today to 40 per cent by 2030, targeting CO2 emissions of 0.2t of CO2 per tonne of cement,” he adds. But there are challenges. “While the use of SCMs is likely to increase in cement in the coming years, as cement plants press to lower their emissions, it can be complicated for a single plant to transition between various SCMs. In this context, being able to switch between SCMs quickly and flexibly will provide a competitive advantage to cement and concrete producers,” continued Dr Leal da Silva.

To address these challenges, FLSmidth is leading a new research partnership titled DETOCS – Data Enabling Transformation and Optimisation towards Concrete Sustainability. “Cement plants already gather vast amounts of operating data. Our ambition is to combine this data and fundamental understanding of cement chemistry to create advanced predictive models, allowing cement plants to quickly adapt and optimise their processes to new SCMs and produce very low-carbon cement on demand,” said Dr Leal da Silva.

The development of such a model requires an interdisciplinary effort. Therefore, DETOCS includes experts in material science, data scientists, technical standards as well as process engineers and cement producers, including Cementos Argos, Kline Consulting, ETH Zürich and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

The project officially launches in September 2023.

Published under Cement News