thyssenkrupp Polysius and Schwenk collaborate on meca-clay development

thyssenkrupp Polysius and Schwenk collaborate on meca-clay development
12 December 2023

thyssenkrupp Polysius and Schwenk Zement have jointly developed a new process and technology that enables the activation of any type of clay without thermal energy and fossil fuels. The two companies recently presented meca-clay in Brussels, Belgium. 

The newly-developed meca-clay process enables the activation of all types of clay using only electrical energy, without the use of fossil fuels. With meca-clay, the potential of mechano-chemistry – that aims at making green chemistry beyond classical grinding – can be unlocked and developed to an industrial level. The polysius® charger enables the necessary increase of the internal free energy of natural clays to transform them into a reactive binder and is scalable to sizes that cope with the cement industry requirements. 

The technology not only sets new standards in terms of environmental friendliness but also in terms of efficiency and product quality. With a planned complete electrification of the process, the companies aim to achieve zero CO2 emissions of industrial production of meca-clay.

Dr Hendrik Möller, member of the Management Board of Schwenk Zement GmbH & Co KG: “In order to achieve climate neutrality in cement production, completely new technological approaches for the mass production of binders must be scaled to an industrial level in the shortest possible time. The meca-clay project shows how fast and successful even technologically demanding projects can be implemented when cement manufacturers and plant manufacturers cooperate in real partnership. Instead of the usual supplier-to-customer relationship, Schwenk and Polysius have shared their knowledge and experience in an unbiased and open manner and cooperated for the benefit of both partners.”

Luc Rudowski, head of innovation at thyssenkrupp Polysius GmbH, said: "Thanks to meca-clay, our industry gets the chance for the first time in its history to produce hydraulic binders without thermal energy but with only decarbonised electrical energy. We have been pioneering the industrial development of activated clay. Thanks to the trustful and very efficient partnership with Schwenk, with such a technology breakthrough, we are convinced that the industrial development of a greener activated clay will be boosted together with further reduction of cement and concrete carbon footprint.”

Based on Schwenk's experience to produce their novel cement called Celitement through mechanico-chemical activation and Polysius' booster mill technology, semi-industrial tests were conducted that showed very promising results on cement and concrete quality using meca-clay. The potential of the new process and technology is such that Schwenk Zement decided to build a demoscale plant to industrially produce meca-clay. It will be installed at Schwenk’s Allmendingen cement plant in the south of Germany and be commissioned in 2025. 

thyssenKrupp Polysius and SAchwnk Zement collaborate on micro-clay processing

thyssenKrupp Polysius and SAchwnk Zement collaborate on meca-clay processing

Published under Cement News