First Graphene announces third trial at Breedon

First Graphene announces third trial at Breedon
18 April 2024

First Graphene will start the third trial of its PureGRAPH-CEM® under full-scale production conditions at the UK’s largest cement producer, Breedon Cement. Following the start of the trial in the 1QFY24-25, the company expects to produce up to 1000t of graphene-enhanced cement at Breedon’s Hope Cement Works in Derbyshire, UK.

The new product is based on a PureGRAPH® grade with a particle size distribution and morphology optimised for use in cement grinding mills, which will enable graphene to be added directly to the cement mill without any additional processing equipment. Its embodied CO2 is reduced by 50 per cent when compared with other grades.

The trial will last eight hours and involves close monitoring oof cement fineness before and during the addition of the PureGRAPH® grade product. It has two key objectives: to validate the mechanical improvements demonstrated at pilot scale and to confirm whether milling throughput can be improved using the new product, reducing energy consumption.

Laboratory-scale tests completed
Results from laboratory-scale milling shows the PureGRAPH-CEM® product can improve cement strength and support this next stage of trials.  The milling was conducted by First Graphene with industry trusted Kirton Concrete Services (“Kirton”) in the United Kingdom, utilising Breedon’s raw materials.  The research defined the size, chemical composition, form and loading level required to maximise the chances of success.

Results showed an increase in compressive strength of graphene enhanced cement of between 9-16 per cent on Day 1 and between 8-13 per cent at Day 7, when compared with a control containing a standard grinding aid. This indicates First Graphene’s product is compatible and complementary with existing grinding aids, which could reduce the need for alternative additives and improve overall cement production processes, according to the company.

The research also found the company’s new graphene improved Blaine fineness – a particle size measurement used in cement testing – by between 9-12 per cent when milling time was fixed. Blaine fineness is used to define the target particle size and surface area of a cement, and by increasing the Blaine fineness with graphene, this would allow for increased cement throughput at the mill.

Trial outcome
This third trial will be planned and executed collaboratively with the Breedon site team, under the terms of the Joint Development and Commercialisation Agreement signed in 2023.

“This is an exciting development in our Joint Development and Commercialisation Agreement with one of the UK’s largest cement producers, Breedon Group,” said Michael Bell, First Graphene MD and CEO.

He added: “The creation of a devoted PureGRAPH® grade for use in cement production reinforces First Graphene’s commitment to delivering ‘green’ cement solutions for the global construction market.

“The adoption of this new and improved graphene product by Breedon shows we are both on the same journey towards decarbonisation of the cement and concrete sector.

“I look forward to providing further updates, including results from this trial in the second half of 2024.”

Published under Cement News