Aalborg Portland's CCUS plant to get Royal inauguration

Aalborg Portland's CCUS plant to get Royal inauguration
24 November 2023

Aalborg Portland (Cementir Group) is preparing to welcome His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark on 27 November for the official inauguration of its new CO2 capture plant, an EU-supported collaboration called ConsenCUS. The project will test new technology for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) that aims to reduce the energy consumption and ensure a better utilisation of the collected CO2.

The new CCUS plant, which will initially have the capacity to capture up to 2.4tpd of CO2, will be tested at the Rørdal cement plant until March 2024. It is part of Aalborg Portland's drive to reduce CO2 emissions by 1.6Mt by 2030. The cement group has set a ceiling on CO2 emissions of 600,000t in 2030, regardless of activity level, and this corresponds to a reduction of 73 per cent of emissions in 2021. By 2030 CO2 capture must play an important role for the Cementir group to deliver a CO2 reduction of at least 400,000tpa.

Aalborg Portland is collaborating with researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on the project that received a ~EUR13m grant from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The new plant will convert the captured CO2 into potassium formate, which constitutes a valuable resource for the chemical industry. The resultant formic acid made from the captured CO2 can be used as a raw material in plastics, etc. 

First carbon capture plant
Aalborg Portland has already experimented with the capture of CO2 at its Rørdal factory. On 5 December 2022, the company established its first pilot plant in collaboration with the DTU and with support from the Innovation Fund. In this Carbon Capture Open Tests and Review of Technologies (CORT) project, the first CO2 capture plant operated for 10 months. It is now being replaced by the ConsenCUS plant.

"With the first plant, we have confirmed that CO2 capture from our production is possible and that the potential is great. At the same time, we have become significantly smarter about how the CCS technology reacts in the context of our production and the Danish climate conditions. Now we look forward to gaining further experience with the technologies behind CCS," said Aalborg Portland

The most widespread technology for CO2 capture today requires high temperatures as part of the process, and this entails a large energy consumption. Therefore, the purpose of the construction of the new CO2 capture plant at Aalborg Portland is to test a new technology that can potentially eliminate large parts of the energy consumption by using an electrochemical method driven by electricity rather than high temperatures. The method, which uses only electrical energy, can potentially halve energy consumption compared to traditional trapping methods, according to Aalborg Portland. 

Moving towards full-scale CO2 capture
The new mobile ConsenCUS demonstration plant will assess the technical and economic viability of green electricity-based, energy-efficient carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). The pilot project is designed to collect 100kg of CO2/h. The plant will use electrochemical gas separation at low temperatures, using an alkaline liquid as a binder.

"We will reduce our CO2 emissions by 73 per cent in 2030 compared to our emissions in 2021, and we will thus make the largest single contribution to the government's climate goals. In this connection, the new CO2 capture plant will provide us with valuable experience that can contribute to the establishment of a full-scale CO2 capture plant, aiming to capture at least 400,000t of CO2 in 2030," said Aalborg Portland. 

Aalborg Portland’s 2022 Sustainability Report states that carbon capture will remove 400,000t (18 per cent) CO2 by 2030, from the company’s total Scope 1 emissions (2.2Mta in 2021). Alternative fuels will account for the largest share of reductions, 40 per cent, with new products contributing 15 per cent. The remaining 600,000t of CO2 will be removed by 2050.

A leader in decarbonisation
Aalborg Portland will be the single-largest contributor to the Danish CO2 reduction targets by supplying 20 per cent of the Danish industrial sector's contribution to deliver 4.3Mt of CO2 by 2030, as set out in the Danish Climate Act.

His Royal Highness will be accompanied by the EU's Energy Minister, Kadri Simson, and Climate, Energy and Supply Minister, Lars Aagaard, on 27 November for the launch of Aalborg's new CCUS plant.

Published under Cement News