The Australian Government has awarded Calix an $11m grant

to develop low emissions lime with its project partner Adbri

Calix awarded $11m in Government Funding for low emissions lime project with Adbri

Calix is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $11m grant from the Australian Government’s Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Hubs and Technologies Program to develop the world’s first commercial-scale process for the manufacture of low emissions lime with Adbri.

Highlights:

  • Calix to receive $11m to develop a low emissions lime kiln with key project partner Adbri, as well as CarbonTP and the Heavy Industry Low Emissions Technology Co-Operative Research Centre (HILT CRC).
  • The project will be located at Kwinana, Western Australia and provide low emissions lime for alumina, gold, and other industries across Western Australia.
  • The plant will use Calix’s Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) technology to demonstrate the use of renewable power and grid load balancing, assess alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, and the efficient capture of CO2 process emissions.
  • Captured CO2 is planned to be provided to the proposed South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project.

The project, undertaken by Calix in collaboration with key partner Adbri, will help accelerate Calix’s LEILAC technology by building and operating the world’s first commercial-scale process for the manufacture of low emissions lime. The proposed plant, at Kwinana, WA, will;

  • produce lime using renewable power,
  • demonstrate grid load balancing by flexibly operating only during peak renewable electricity production / low electricity cost periods,
  • assess alternative energy sources such as hydrogen and alternative fuels, and
  • capture the CO2 emitted from the process.

Once the proposed South West Hub CCS project is operational, CO2 can be fed into the system for permanent storage, creating truly zero emissions lime.

The project objectives are aligned with the Government’s Technology Roadmap to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to lower the cost of CCS to less than $20/tonne. The use of low emissions lime will be directed to the trade-exposed alumina, nickel, rare-earth and gold producers to reduce the embodied emissions of their products.

With the $11m in funding secured from the Australian Government, Calix and Adbri will now proceed with the next stages of the project under the Heads of Agreement announced in March 2021, including the finalisation of commercial terms and further technical work.

Calix and Adbri anticipate undertaking a feasibility study for the project followed by a front-end engineering and design phase. The plant construction and demonstration is expected to include raw material feedstock contributed by Adbri and would test multiple fuel and energy options including natural gas, hydrogen and renewable electricity with load switching.

Calix and Boral to develop carbon abatement project with $30m in Government Funding

Calix is pleased to announce, in collaboration with Boral Limited, a carbon abatement project with $30m in funding from the Australian Government’s Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Hubs and Technologies Program.

 

Highlights:

  • Boral to receive $30m to develop a CCUS project (the Project) at its cement and lime facilities in the NSW Southern Highlands, targeting 100,000 tonnes per year of CO2
  • Calix will be supplying its Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) technology to the Project.
  • The Project will be developed in three phases:
    • The initial feasibility assessment phase will focus on a Basis of Design (BOD), commercial agreements and assessment including CO2 use options
    • Phase two will concentrate on Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) leading to a final investment decision (FID)
    • Phase 3 will involve detailed Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) leading to commissioning and operation.

 

The Project, undertaken by Boral in collaboration with Calix, will help accelerate Calix’s LEILAC technology through development of both cement and lime deployment options, as well as alternative fuels and renewable energy use.

Since 2019, Calix’s LEILAC technology has been piloted with leading cement and lime companies in Europe and recently attracted US-based impact investment fund Carbon Direct to invest directly into the LEILAC technology to accelerate global development and deployment.

The Project, in the NSW Southern Highlands aims to:

  • Develop CO2 capture capability for Boral’s cement and lime facilities,
  • Assess alternative energy sources such as renewable energy and alternative fuels, to further reduce CO2

Options for utilisation of the CO2 from the Project will also be assessed which, when combined with alternative fuels or renewable energy to power the technology, are targeted to create truly zero emissions lime and cement.

The Project objectives are aligned with the Government’s Technology Roadmap to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to lower the cost of Carbon Capture, Use and Storage to less than $20/tonne.

This funding will now support Boral and Calix in finalising key commercial terms and commencing design. If the initial feasibility phase, which is expected to take about twelve months, is successful, a full FEED study will follow leading to an FID, followed by an EPC and operational phase.

Calcination process for lime decarbonisation

Lime, one of the most vital minerals used on Earth

Lime is amongst the oldest and most important materials used on earth and an essential element in global civilisation, yet most of us don’t know the vital role it plays in our day-to[1]day lives. With such ubiquitous usage, the global lime market reached a value of around $US 41.93 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $US 51.04 billion by 2028. The high maturity markets, in terms of usage, include North America and Europe, while markets with high growth potential include South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Lime refers to products derived from burnt (calcined) limestone, such as quicklime and hydrated “slaked” lime. Limestone is nearly half CO2 by weight. The CO2, which is trapped in the rock, is released when making lime.

Lhoist, a key partner in helping develop Calix’s LEILAC technology, is the world leading supplier of high-quality lime, dolime and minerals, with a vast experience in material characterisation as well as the development of new products and processes. It serves industries like steel, environmental, building and civil engineering, pulp and paper, and agriculture.

Lime production and the climate challenge

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (6th Assessment) Report stated that it is now unequivocal that human influence, primarily through the production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, is causing widespread and rapid changes to the climate.

To have the best chance of avoiding a two degree rise in global temperatures, the global average personal carbon footprint needs to reach zero by 2050. To achieve this, all sectors of society must deliver emission reductions and governments are taking actions to this effect.

“By acting now,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in mid-July, “we can … choose a better, healthier and more prosperous way for the future.”

As environmental regulations toughen, and shareholders and stakeholders place increasing pressure on companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lime producers need solutions quickly to help mitigate their CO2 emissions.

Calix’s LEILAC (“Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement”) technology is available now to efficiently separate the CO2 emitted in lime production. Calix’s LEILAC technology captures the process CO2 emissions that are generated when limestone is heated (see graphics above). These emissions are unavoidable regardless of the fuel type and can constitute up to 75 per cent of CO2 emissions from a lime plant. The remainder comes from burning fuel.

Further advances in Calix’s LEILAC technology, such as the ability to electrify the whole of the heating requirement, and power it from renewable energy, means that zero-emissions lime manufacturing can be achieved.

LEILAC-2 passes Financial Investment Decision (FID) milestone

Calix’s innovative project for capturing CO2 emissions from cement and lime sectors – “LEILAC-2” – passes Financial Investment Decision milestone

Highlights:

  • The Calix lead LEILAC-2 project has passed its Financial Investment Decision (FID) to build a plant capable of capturing 20% of a cement plant’s CO2 at very low cost. It will be integrated into HeidelbergCement’s operational plant in Hannover, Germany.
  • Supported by the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme, the Calix design is for a new type of capture technology, designed as a retrofit, scalable module, that aims to use alternative and renewable fuels.
  • This FID milestone has been achieved despite the complications arising from the global pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are now proceeding with detailed design, purchasing long-lead items, and expecting to commence construction in 2023. There remain key project risk flag points prior to purchasing major components, given the market situation.
  • The LEILAC approach is designed to enable a green and just transition to a low-carbon future with the objective of strengthening local industry and maximising the use of local resources, whilst also addressing climate change.
  • This first-of-a-kind modular retrofit, which addresses a cement plant’s unavoidable emissions, is aiming to ultimately separate CO2 for a cost of €20 to 25 per tonne of CO2.
  • The LEILAC-2 plant is located in Hannover, providing a potential testing and backbone for future use and offshore storage options, and an excellent opportunity for decarbonising central European industry.
  • The LEILAC-2 Project Consortium includes HeidelbergCement, Calix, CEMEX, Cimpor, Engie, IKN, Lhoist, and other global research and governmental partners.
  • Critical global climate change targets have been committed to for 2050, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports emphasising the need to accelerate the deployment of all CO2 mitigation technologies, and it is hoped that LEILAC can play a key role.

LEILAC – Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement – aims to demonstrate, at industrial scale, a breakthrough technology that can capture a cement or lime plant’s unavoidable process emissions for minimal cost, thereby providing a viable and effective decarbonisation solution. The LEILAC-2 plant is being designed to capture 100ktpa of CO2.

The cement and lime industries play a vital role in our society. Cement is used in our roads, buildings, homes, offices and almost all infrastructure. Lime is used in a variety of applications, including the iron and steel, chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, drinking water, food, and farming industries. However, the cement industry alone is responsible for around 8% of global CO2 emission, as most of its emissions are inherent to the production process and are therefore difficult to avoid. Most cement associations and companies have committed to “net-zero” environmental processes, requiring the majority of cement plants to have carbon capture and storage solutions in place as quickly as possible.

The LEILAC Group, a subsidiary of Calix Limited, aims to apply a breakthrough in carbon capture technology that will enable the cement and lime industries to reduce their emissions dramatically – while retaining their international competitiveness – by capturing those process emissions at low cost. This is a completely new ‘type’ of carbon capture technology, which is a “process modification” approach, rather than requiring additional chemicals or processes, so CO2 can be separated at very low cost. The technology can also be retrofitted in a modular form at any scale, and aims to use any fuel or energy source (such as biomass, hydrogen, or electricity) – providing a ‘future proof’ solution.

The LEILAC-2 project was established to: demonstrate that the Calix technology can be a retrofitted solution capable of capturing 20% of a plant’s emissions; be integrated without causing issues or major interruptions to the host plant; investigate the use of alternative fuels; and, be a replicable module enabling significant scale up. Since the LEILAC-2 project commenced in 2020, as a global society we have faced significant challenges resulting in delays and price increases across the supply chain. Despite these challenges, the project teams – involving talented individuals from all of the project partners – have managed to progress, de-risk and develop a costed and technically viable design. The project successfully passed its FID decision milestone, and will now proceed into the detailed design phase through 2022, followed by procurement and construction of the plant itself. There will be risk related gateways throughout the coming months to assess and deal with various risks, particularly for purchasing long lead items, and to address the current market volatility.

Although there are considerable challenges ahead, LEILAC-2, despite being a first of a kind demonstration retrofit, has the potential to separate CO2 at low cost at a commercial scale. Including expected compression, fees and, capex costs – this equates to an “abatement” (not just capture) cost of around €20-25 per tonne.

 

Antonio Clausi, HeidelbergCement Group Director Competence Center Cement commented:

“At HeidelbergCement, we are testing a wide range of new technologies to decarbonise the cement production process. Our goal is to achieve these CO2 reductions while minimizing the need for additional resources, particularly fossil-based energy, and lowering costs. Maturing the LEILAC technology, steered by the highly committed Calix team, is therefore one of our priorities.”

Despite the considerable challenges ahead, LEILAC-2 – despite being a first of a kind demonstration retrofit – has the potential to separate CO2 at low cost at a commercial scale. Including expected compression, fees and, capex costs – this equates to an “abatement” (not just capture) cost of around €20-25 per tonne.

If the LEILAC-2 plant can reach its nameplate capacity, this EU funded plant may capture €7.5 – 9.5million worth (EU ETS – or European Union Emissions Trading System) of CO2 annually for a total annual operating cost of €2million. The design is a replicable module, that can be duplicated to and scaled to capture 100% of a plant’s emissions. The storage of the CO22, using well established, regulated and safe practices, would be required to ensure it does not reach the atmosphere, with a variety of options being put in place globally.

LEILAC-2 remains a research and development plant, with risks as noted above, but is designed to deliver a replicable module that will be a step change in capturing carbon emissions in the cement and lime sectors.

To mark this success, there will be a new website, and logo for the LEILAC Group – underscoring the central vision of successfully and economically decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors. The LEILAC technology is unfolding as a practical and affordable pathway for local industries to thrive in a carbon-constrained future.

 

Phil Hodgson, Calix MD and CEO and Chairman of the LEILAC-2 Executive Board commented:

“The positive FID decision marks a significant milestone and further demonstrates the momentum which is building around the LEILAC-2 project. The completion of the FEED has been achieved despite the challenging circumstances and is a testament to the strong level of collaboration which has been cultivated between the consortium partners, who have all worked together to make significant progress on this breakthrough project.”

 

The consortium is led by the LEILAC Group (technology provider Calix), and comprises HeidelbergCement, CEMEX, Cimpor, IKN GmbH, Lhoist, Port of Rotterdam, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Geological Survey of Belgium (GSB), the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), Polytechnic University of Milan (POLIMI), and Engie.

It is supported by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI), CEMBUREAU, European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA), European Lime Association (EuLA). The project aims to apply and demonstrate a breakthrough technology that will enable the cement and lime industries to reduce their carbon footprint significantly.

“At HeidelbergCement, we are testing a wide range of new technologies to decarbonise the cement production process. Our goal is to achieve these CO2 reductions while minimizing the need for additional resources, particularly fossil-based energy, and lowering costs. Maturing the LEILAC technology, steered by the highly committed Calix team, is therefore one of our priorities.” Antonio Clausi, Heidelbergcement Group Director Competence Center Cement

Our participation in the LEILAC 2 project is another example of our continued efforts to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete products globally by 2050,” said Vicente Saiso, Global Vicepresident of Sustainabiluty of CEMEX. “We are determined to contribute in research and development efforts pursuing high impact technologies in carbon capture, use, and storage.”  Vicente Saiso, CEMEX

“The LEILAC-2 technology can provide a very elegant and cost-effective solution for directly separating the very hard to abate CO2 process-related emissions of a cement kiln while at the same time “net-zero” fuels will pave the way to dramatically reducing CO2 fuel-related emissions. Once tested and successfully scaled up, it should become the 21st century version of Columbus’ egg.” Paulo Rocha, CIMPOR

“To respond to the scale of the challenges we continuously face, except from diversification of our supply energy mixture, putting renewables as the cornerstone, we need to manage the associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, since fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the global energy mix. LEILAC, inherently designed to be, scalable add adaptable advanced CC technology, is one of the most promising responses, capable also of maximising the large and untapped potential of low-emitting alternative sources of energy.” Nikos Nikolopoulos, Director or Research, CERTH

 

“As a society, we need to do everything we can to quickly move towards a low-carbon economy, as part of a just-transition, and we believe that LEILAC can contribute strongly to our future. In a time of significant change and instability, the contribution and drive of the partners involved in this project show the desire to decarbonise industry as quickly and as efficiently as possible.” Daniel Rennie, CEO LEILAC Group

“Calcination Process for Lime Decarbonisation” feat. James O’Loghlin & Adam Vincent

Welcome to the sixth Episode of INNOVATING FOR THE EARTH

with innovation expert and radio and TV presenter James O’Loghlin

In this 6th Episode of our Podcast: Innovating for the Earth, innovation expert and radio and TV presenter James O’Loghlin speaks with Calix General Manager Adam Vincent about lime decarbonisation.

Together, they explore how Calix’s LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement) carbon capture technology can help significantly reduce lime’s impact on the environment.

As environmental regulations toughen, and shareholders and stakeholders place increasing pressure on companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lime producers need solutions quickly to help mitigate their CO2 emissions.

Calix’s LEILAC (“Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement”) Technology is available now to efficiently separate the CO2 emitted in lime production.

Calix’s LEILAC Technology captures the process CO2 emissions that are generated when limestone is heated. These emissions are unavoidable regardless of the fuel type and can constitute up to 75 per cent of CO2 emissions from a lime plant. The remainder comes from burning fuel.

Further advances in Calix’s LEILAC Technology, such as the ability to electrify the whole of the heating requirement, and power it from renewable energy, means that zero-emissions lime manufacturing can be achieved.

“The current objective facing the lime industry and governments is threefold: to maintain economic prosperity, meet lime market demand, while dramatically lowering CO2 emissions. Calix (LEILAC) aims to meet this global challenge as quickly as possible.” Comments Adam Vincent, General Manager Lime Decarbonisation.

 

Calix files a new patent for zero emissions iron and steel

Calix is pleased to announce the filing of a patent covering a new application of its core technology for the production of zero CO2 emissions iron and steel.

Iron and steel making sits just behind cement and lime as the second largest source of man-made industrial CO2 emissions, estimated at 7% of the global total, or around 2.6 billion tonnes per year.

IRON

80 to 85% of the industry’s CO2 footprint is associated with the production of iron, as 90% of all iron is produced by metallurgical coal- and coke-fuelled blast furnaces, producing approximately 1.8 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of iron produced.

Iron produced via direct reduction of iron ore using a “syngas” of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (made from natural gas) in a shaft furnace is a less CO2 intensive method, at around 0.6 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of iron, however this process route has traditionally been more expensive, and hence only 10% of the world’s iron is produced by this method. The method requires cheap natural gas, as well as pelletisation of iron ores to prevent fines loss.

Methods to lower the carbon footprint of iron production have started to consider using “green” hydrogen as the major reductant instead of natural gas and coal. The use of hydrogen in blast furnaces is being tested, but there will be limits on the amount of coal it could replace due to a reduction in the conversion rate of iron ore to iron. A “direct reduction process” with hydrogen is currently being assessed in the HYBRIT process in Sweden with SSAB, Vattenfall and LKAB. However as with a normal direct reduction process, the iron ore requires pelletisation, and ultimately consumes about 72 kg of hydrogen per tonne of steel (Source: McKinsey & Co -Decarbonisation Challenge for Steel, P9).

STEEL

Following the production of iron, steel is then produced either by removal of impurities in a basic oxygen furnace (usually following a blast furnace) or electric arc furnace (usually following a direct reduction process). Both production routes allow for the recycling of scrap steel at this point. In both routes, impurities in the steel need to be removed, and this is partially achieved via the addition of lime both before and during the steelmaking process, typically between 25kg to 70kg of lime per tonne of steel, or about 46 million to 130 million tonnes of lime.

Diagram above is from the European Steel Association

CALIX’S “ZESTY” IRON PROCESS

Calix’s “ZESTY” (Zero Emissions Steel TechnologY) Iron process involves the use of Calix’s core “kiln” technology to reduce iron ore to iron in a hydrogen atmosphere at between 600oC to 800oC, about 1000oC lower than a conventional blast furnace, due to the ability of Calix’s technology to handle small particle sizes in a controlled atmosphere. Calix’s kiln can also be easily electrically heated and handle intermittent operation – and thus the process can be energised via renewable energy sources. Because expensive hydrogen is not consumed as a fuel, and only as a reductant, Calix’s process is targeting the theoretical minimum hydrogen use of 54 kg per tonne of iron.

In summary, Calix’s ZESTY iron technology allows for:

  • REDUCED TEMPERATURE OF OPERATION
  • NO PELLETISATION REQUIRED – CAN PROCESS FINES
  • ABLE TO BE RENEWABLY POWERED, WITH INTERMITTENT OPERATION
  • CAN APPROACH THEORETICAL MINIMUM HYDROGEN USE

CALIX’S “ZESTY” STEEL PROCESS

Calix’s “ZESTY” (Zero Emissions Steel TechnologY) Steel process involves the use of the ZESTY Iron process feeding a standard (continuous) electric arc furnace (C-EAF), with the addition of a LEILAC kiln to produce zero-emissions lime. The “hot, active” lime produced from the LEILAC technology can be directly fed to the ZESTY reactor, and in addition any extra CO2 required in the C-EAF for the final steel mix can be fed directly from the LEILAC reactor. Some extra lime from the LEILAC reactor can also be used to scrub any excess carbon dioxide, as well as other pollutants such as sulphur compounds, from the exhaust gas from the C-EAF in a carbonation step (“CL” in the diagram). In addition to the advantages of Calix’s ZESTY Iron process, Calix’s ZESTY Steel technology allows for:

  • USE OF ZERO EMISSIONS LIME IN STEEL-MAKING
  • NO LIME PELLETISATION / PREPARATION REQUIRED – CAN PROCESS FINES DIRECTLY
  • CAN ALSO USE THE LIME TO SCRUB ANY EXCESS CARBON, AS WELL AS OTHER POLLUTANTS, FROM THE EXHAUST GASES

DEVELOPMENT UNDERWAY

Professor Paul Fennell – Professor of Clean Energy at Imperial College London said “The Fennell group at Imperial College is currently conducting its own independent investigation of the use of powder gas reactors, such as that embodied by ZESTY for iron and steel production and have found no substantial obstacles so far in our studies. We believe that tight control of particle size to prevent internal diffusion limitation will be necessary, and there will no doubt be other phenomena to be considered as the technology is scaled. However, the production of iron from iron ore is clearly the most obvious next generation use of the Calix technology, and one that I consider to have great potential”.

CONCLUSION

Calix’s patent outlines the use of Calix’s core technology to produce zero emissions iron and steel. The technology will need to be scaled and tested, and the patent upheld, to achieve commercial success. Initial testing is taking place at Imperial College in London. If positive results are confirmed, Calix will then conduct scale-up testing at the Company’s Bacchus Marsh facility with ores from a potential customer, who Calix has already engaged in discussions.

CEO of Calix Phil Hodgson said: “These are early days for the Calix ZESTY technology, however, given the materiality of both the potential for our technology in iron and steel production and the size of the environmental challenge, being similar to the one our LEILAC business is addressing, we will be pursuing this opportunity as quickly as possible – the world cannot wait any longer.

Calix appoints internal seasoned executive as CEO of its CO2 Business

Calix is pleased to announce the appointment of seasoned Calix executive Dan Rennie as CEO of the “LEILAC Group” – Calix’s CO2 mitigation business.

Calix CEO Phil Hodgson said “After an extensive global search program via an executive search firm, and following-on from the investment by Carbon Direct of €15m into our CO2 business to accelerate commercialisation of the LEILAC technology, I am very pleased to confirm that a seasoned Calix executive is being promoted to lead our CO2 business as CEO. Dan Rennie has been instrumental in winning grant funding for, and co-ordinating, both our LEILAC-1 and LEILAC-2 projects, as well as developing a deep global network of cement and lime companies, decarbonisation stakeholders, policy makers and engineering companies. He has been instrumental in raising the profile of Calix’s LEILAC technology from an unknown new technology only a few years ago to the European and then world stage. After assessing our internal executive talent against the best we could find externally, it is great to see one of our own filling this role, with the full support of our Board and our co-investor in this business, Carbon Direct.”

We are ecstatic that Dan will be leading the LEILAC Group as CEO,” said Josh Dienstag, Carbon Direct’s Chief Investment Officer and LEILAC Group director. “Dan brings technical and commercial expertise as well as passion that are key assets to the company during this important phase of growth.”

Dan Rennie said “It is both a privilege and an honour to be selected to lead Calix’s business efforts for decarbonising hard-to-abate industries using its low-cost carbon capture technology. The teams involved in developing this breakthrough technology over Calix’s short history are an exceptionally talented set of individuals – immeasurably supported by the dedicated efforts of our industrial, academic and engineering partners.

With cement alone being responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions, we are at a watershed moment to bolster collective efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and stabilise the climate. While most of the emissions from cement and lime are unavoidable, solutions are available and I believe that Calix’s LEILAC technology has a leading role to play in decarbonising these industries. I look forward to building on the successes to date and working with our partners, clients and stakeholders to develop this into an effective global solution.”

Dan worked in the electricity sector, prior to moving to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. He also ran the European Commission’s CCS Network, then joined Calix in 2014 to investigate how Calix’s technology could be applied to the cement and lime industries. Dan holds a Master’s degree in history from St Andrews University, and is based in France.

Using Lime to Store Energy: SOCRATCES

Using Lime to Capture CO2: Project ANICA

Decarbonising Cement by scalling Calix technology with Andrew Okely

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