Leilac CEO, Daniel Rennie talks to VinZero’s Think Future podcast about the challenge of addressing the unavoidable carbon emissions released in the production of cement, and how Leilac is working with the cement industry to help decarbonise this essential, yet hard-to-abate sector.
Calix is pleased to announce that Leilac, Calix’s 93% owned subsidiary focusing on decarbonisation of cement and lime, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Heirloom, a Direct Air Capture (DAC) company.
The partnership between Leilac and Heirloom, whose investors include Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, as well as existing Leilac shareholder Carbon Direct Capital Management, Ahren Innovation Capital and Microsoft, brings together two leading climate technologies to provide an innovative and highly efficient approach to atmospheric carbon dioxide removal by DAC.
The MOU outlines the key terms for a global and binding licence and collaboration agreement for the use of Leilac’s kiln technology in Heirloom’s DAC solution.
In welcoming the partnership, Calix Managing Director and CEO, Phil Hodgson said, “Heirloom is a sophisticated and innovative Direct Air Capture company, and their partnership with Leilac represents a new application of Calix’s core platform technology to address the global challenge of excess atmospheric CO2 levels.”
“The licence and collaboration agreement outlined in the MOU is the latest example of Calix’s commercialisation strategy, designed to deliver the greatest positive impact at the greatest speed.”
Leilac CEO, Daniel Rennie said, “Leilac is delighted to announce our partnership with Heirloom. Leilac and Heirloom are on a shared mission to help address global CO2 emissions. Together, our technologies can deliver an efficient and scalable approach to directly removing excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.”
Heirloom CEO, Shashank Samala agreed, “We’re incredibly excited about incorporating Leilac’s world-leading electric kiln technology into our Direct Air Capture facilities because it will accelerate our efforts to capture 1 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2035 owing to its highly modular and energy-efficient design.”
Calix Limited is pleased to announce that a project led by Windship Technology Limited in partnership with Leilac, Calix’s 93% owned subsidiary focused on the decarbonisation of cement and lime, has been awarded £5m (~AU$8.7m) by Innovate UK to demonstrate a novel, low-cost route to zero carbon shipping.
The Project combines renewably powered propulsion and a lime-based carbon capture solution for remaining emissions from conventional diesel engines. As part of the funding, Leilac will receive a grant of £1m (~AU$1.75m1) to demonstrate the delivery of lime to an exhaust gas scrubber for CO2 capture.
In welcoming the announcement, Calix Managing Director and CEO, Phil Hodgson said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Windship, with the support of the UK Government, to develop a novel decarbonisation approach that combines highly innovative technologies developed in Australia and the UK.”
Windship Technology CEO, Graham Harvey said,
“We are absolutely delighted with this funding for ourselves and our project partners. Given the significant financial support announced today, the Department for Transport and Innovate UK believe this technology can be a key driver in the clean shipping revolution, and we are proud to be playing our part in the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.”
Windship and Leilac are partnering to develop an innovative wind propulsion and carbon capture system that has the potential to offer a low-cost route to low and zero emissions shipping. Together, Windship and Leilac’s technologies can enable approximately 50% of the ships power to be provided by renewable energy and emissions from the remaining conventional fuel requirements captured by zero emissions lime. Integration of the carbon capture system with the ship’s engines can enable waste heat recovery from the capture reaction, further reducing fuel demand. This unique combination of technologies has the potential to deliver a highly economical approach to elimination of emissions from shipping.
Windships’ auxiliary power systems use wind propulsion provided by wind rigs, each of which consist of three vertically arranged solid sails. The innovative design provides high-power density and a low centre of effort, and therefore minimal impact on vessel stability. Three triple wing installations can provide sufficient thrust to sail an 80,000 deadweight tonne (DWT) ship without requiring engine power for 60-70% of the journey along typical trade wind routes, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions compared with standard operating conditions.
For manoeuvring in port, handling in storm conditions or for when wind power cannot be guaranteed, ships must also be fitted with engines. Whilst in future these engines may run off zero emissions fuels, the existing fleet is expected to continue to use diesel for several decades.
Windship systems can be installed on vessels with a flat deck above their cargo, including tankers, bulkers, and LNG tankers.
Lime is a highly effective sorbent for the capture of CO2 and can be used in a carbon capture system for the abatement of emissions from conventional diesel engines. For this solution to provide a net reduction or elimination of emissions, the lime used for capture must be produced with low or zero carbon emissions, using shore-based decarbonisation of the lime.
Leilac’s patented technology can produce low emissions lime by efficiently capturing the unavoidable process CO2 emissions released from limestone, without additional chemicals or processes. Leilac’s technology is compatible with clean energy sources, such as hydrogen and electricity, and also alternative fuels, enabling flexible and economical pathways for the production of zero emissions lime and cement. Leilac’s technology is proven at pilot scale, including through its pilot plant, Leilac-1, that has been in operation since 2019 with a capture capacity of 25,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. A demonstration plant, which aims to prove a low-cost module with a capture capacity of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year is due to open in 2024, paving the way for commercialisation of the technology at any scale.
For shipping, the decarbonised lime will be transferred to the relevant marine vessel, where the shipborne carbon capture process is applied. This system is compatible with a wide range of ship types, including tankers, container ships and cruise liners. It is retrofittable, fuel agnostic, and can be simply scaled to meet the decarbonisation ambitions of each ship. The adoption of lime as a sorbent for ships can also significantly expand the market for low and zero emissions lime.
Noting the benefits of research and development already undertaken by the cement and lime industries, Leilac CEO, Daniel Rennie said,
“This project marks a significant step in developing a potential route for the efficient and low-cost decarbonisation of the shipping industry. Marine shipping is a particularly hard-to-abate sector, and the very strong synergies that can be made from leveraging the large-scale industrial decarbonisation efforts in the lime and cement industries – combined with the innovative renewable approach by Windship – is an exciting development.”
Dr Hodgson continued, “Calcium looping for carbon capture with low emissions lime is an exciting application with significant potential, and we look forward to developing this technology further with the support of our partners.”
The Project, led by Windship Technology Limited, will use a new patented solid wing sail technology in conjunction with a lime carbon capture system to demonstrate a route to zero emissions for ships fitted with conventional diesel engines. The Project aims to demonstrate the low-cost potential of the proposed decarbonisation solution for shipping and pave the way for zero emissions lime to be used for reducing or eliminating emissions from conventional diesel-powered vessels.
The key objective of the Project is to design, develop, build and demonstrate a novel drive train system consisting of a single powerful wind propulsion device, working together with a trial carbon capture system to pave the route to zero emission propulsion for bulkers and tankers. This will be installed and trialled on a 15,000DWT bulker. The shipborne carbon capture system will ultimately be designed to use highly reactive low emissions intensity lime, produced in an on-shore Leilac reactor, to capture CO2 from the ship’s exhaust gases.
International shipping is responsible for ~2% of global CO2 emissions. The International Maritime Organization has an objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared with a 2008 baseline. Accounting for the projected growth of the shipping industry during this time, achieving this goal will require a reduction in emissions of ~80% based on current levels.
Future development and adoption of sustainable transport fuels, such as hydrogen or methanol, together with the required supporting infrastructure, may enable low carbon fuel alternatives for the shipping industry.
When methanol produced with renewable energy and captured CO2 from industry is used as a fuel, such as in the process described in the recent HyGATE project announcement, of which Calix is a consortium member, the combination with the technology being developed by this Project can deliver net negative emissions from shipping.
The Project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 (CMDC3), which was announced in September 2022, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC3, the Department allocated £60m to 19 flagship projects supported by 92 UK organisations to deliver real world demonstration R&D projects in clean maritime solutions. Projects will take place in multiple locations around the UK from as far north as the Shetland Isles and as far south as Cornwall.
The CMDC3 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.
 Based on an exchange rate of 1GBP = 1.75 AUD, as at 15 February 2023
Calix is pleased to announce it is a member of an Australian-German consortium that aims to develop the production of sustainable fuels from renewable energy, green hydrogen and captured process CO2 emissions.
As announced by the Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy on 27 January, the “HyGATE” Solar Methanol Project has been awarded AU$19.48 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and €13.2 million (~AU$20.19m) from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop a world-first green methanol demonstration plant in Port Augusta, South Australia.
Exporting green hydrogen produced in Australia to Germany offers the promise of leveraging Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources to help the decarbonisation of German industry. Methanol is a versatile hydrogen derivative and has the potential to act as an effective green hydrogen carrier.
The clean and economical synthesis of methanol could help enable the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate transport sectors such as aviation and shipping, responsible for 4.3% of global CO2 emissions.
The Solar Methanol Project aims to integrate several innovative low emission technologies to deliver renewable power and process heat, green hydrogen electrolysis, and, with Calix’s Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (Leilac) technology, renewably powered electric calcination of limestone and the efficient capture of unavoidable process CO2 emissions.
In addition to Calix, the Solar Methanol Project consortium includes Australian cleantech company Vast Solar and leading engineering and consultancy firm Fichtner, and is supported by the Australian Solar Thermal Institute.
The Project intends to renewably power a 10MW electrolyser to produce green hydrogen, and a lime plant that produces CO2 as an unavoidable process emission. The clean energy, hydrogen and CO2 will then be used to synthesise up to 7,500 tonnes per year of green methanol to be developed for use as a sustainable transport fuel.
The Project aims to be a catalyst for a solar methanol industry in Australia, with the potential to significantly scale domestic green fuel use as well as potential exports to Germany and other global markets.
To synthesise green methanol, the Project intends to use up to 15,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 captured by Calix’s Leilac technology during the production of low emissions lime.
Adbri is partnering with Calix and Leilac as part of its net zero pathway to enable the efficient capture of unavoidable process CO2 emissions and the use of renewable sources of energy in the production of low and zero emissions lime.
In collaboration with the Project and subject to commercial agreements, Leilac and Adbri are pursuing opportunities to develop a renewably powered lime plant that would produce low emissions lime and capture process CO2 for potential use in methanol synthesis by the Solar Methanol Project. While Calix and Adbri are not direct recipients of HyGATE funding, HyGATE represents excellent potential to derive direct value for captured CO2 into an opportunity with significant potential to scale.
Lime is an essential material for several industries, including mining and metals refining, water treatment, steel, paper, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. Decarbonising the production of lime is a critical enabling step for reducing the carbon intensity of these hard-to-abate industries.
Calix CEO and Managing Director, Phil Hodgson said:
“Calix’s Leilac technology will be used to make zero emissions lime in partnership with Adbri for Adbri customers, using renewable electricity and efficient capture of unavoidable CO2 emissions from limestone. At the same time, Calix and Adbri are excited to work with the Solar Methanol consortium to enable the supply of captured CO2 emissions to make green methanol.
We are delighted to be progressing plans with Adbri for zero emissions lime with electrification and CO2 capture. As part of the HyGATE consortium we look forward to the outcomes of the HyGATE project, which has the potential to further catalyse support for CO2 capture and to pioneer new green fuels for aviation and shipping.”
Adbri Interim CEO, Mark Irwin said:
“As a leading Australian producer of cement and lime with a commitment to be net zero by 2050, we recognise partnership with companies such as Calix are essential for the development of technology necessary to reach our goal. We are excited about the potential to supply zero emissions lime to our customers, a critical product in a decarbonised economy.”
The innovative licence agreement for Leilac’s ground-breaking technology applies to any Heidelberg Materials facility where the Leilac decarbonisation technology is installed. Heidelberg Materials operates 149 cement plants across 5 continents.
“It forms the basis for the technology’s use throughout Heidelberg Materials, providing a model for the commercialisation of the technology at global scale. Together, Leilac and Heidelberg Materials continue to de-risk, prove and scale Leilac’s decarbonisation technology. The agreement is an important step in our journey towards providing cement and lime producers with access to a low cost carbon abatement solution, allowing them to take urgent action against climate change and protect their industries’ jobs and prosperity.” Daniel Rennie, Leilac CEO
Heidelberg Materials is a founding and key member of a consortium of companies and institutions partnering to develop and apply the Leilac technology. The global licence agreement with Heidelberg Materials follows many years of close collaboration and partnership.
Leilac’s commercialisation strategy
The agreement with Heidelberg Materials is a key milestone in Leilac’s commercialisation of the Leilac technology, and Calix’s strategy to develop great businesses that deliver positive global impact.
The technology licence fee is a first-of-a-kind for the industry, and comprises a royalty floor, variable component linked to carbon price/value, and a royalty cap linked to costs versus alternative technologies. The terms of the agreement with Heidelberg Materials require the royalty quantums to remain commercial-in-confidence. Calix will retain all improvements to Calix intellectual property.
Calix Managing Director and CEO, Phil Hodgson said, “The agreement with Heidelberg Materials for the commercial use of the Leilac technology represents the next chapter of a long and successful partnership. It is a partnership based on shared values, and a shared mission to urgently and affordably decarbonise the production of cement. We are grateful for their support and collaboration in the development of this globally important technology.”
“Heidelberg Materials has been working together with Leilac since 2014, developing this promising technology as a means of decarbonising the cement sector’s unavoidable CO2 emissions. We look forward to our continued collaboration towards developing and implementing the technology at full scale, with this global, perpetual licence agreement marking an important milestone and commercial framework for the widespread use of the technology.” Antonio Clausi, Head of Heidelberg Materials’ Global Competence Centre Cement
To read more, visit: Global License Agreement with Heidelberg Materials | Leilac
Leilac is also pleased to announce three decarbonisation projects in partnership with global building materials company, CEMEX. The projects aim to deploy Leilac’s unique technology to capture unavoidable process emissions released in the production of cement.
“Leilac is delighted to announce three ambitious decarbonisation projects with long-time partner, CEMEX. Spanning three countries and two continents, the projects with CEMEX represent the next stage of commercial scale implementation of the Leilac technology as we seek to deliver impactful CO2 abatement across the globe.”
Engineering studies are currently under way for Leilac carbon capture projects based at CEMEX plants in Germany, Poland and the USA. Leilac is working closely with CEMEX to progress the projects as well as a global licence agreement, currently under negotiation, covering CEMEX’s global operations. Leilac and CEMEX have a longstanding partnership. CEMEX is a founding and valued member of a consortium of companies and institutions partnering to develop and apply the Leilac technology through the Leilac-1 and Leilac-2 projects.
Calix is pleased to announce three decarbonisation projects in partnership with global building materials company, CEMEX. The projects aim to deploy Leilac’s unique technology to capture unavoidable process emissions released in the production of cement.
Engineering studies are currently under way for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects based at CEMEX plants in Germany, Poland and the USA.
Calix and Leilac are working closely with CEMEX to progress the projects as well as a global licence agreement, currently under negotiation, covering CEMEX’s global operations.
Calix and CEMEX have a longstanding partnership. CEMEX is a founding and valued member of a consortium of companies and institutions partnering to develop and apply the Leilac technology through the Leilac-1 and Leilac-2 projects.
Calix and Leilac look forward to continuing to work with CEMEX towards the shared goal of decarbonised cement and lime.
Read the full press release: https://www.cemex.com/-/cemex-strengthens-commitment-to-decarbonize-the-construction-value-chain