The LEILAC consortium is pleased to provide an update on the project since completion of construction in early May.
Preliminary test runs have been completed on the LEILAC pilot at Heidelberg Cement’s Lixhe plant in Belgium.
The technology concept has been shown to work on both lime and cement meal, with calcination near to target levels and high purity CO2 successfully separated at the top of the reactor, albeit not yet at full design capacity.
Commissioning issues, common to engineering projects of this scale and ambition, continue to be streamlined.
The initial progress on the commissioning phase will now be followed by test runs until the end of 2020 to de-risk potential longer term issues, such as tube health and process robustness. In parallel, planning has commenced on the next scale-up of the technology, including conceptual design and engaging funding consortia.
Commissioning activities over the past two months have achieved:
• Proven operations with limestone and cement raw meal;
• Separation of CO2 (>95% purity);
• Heat transfer from the furnace to the powder in the tube to achieve extents of calcination of more than 85% (although not yet at target design capacity for lime of 95%);
• Pre-heating of the raw material with hot CO2 gas;
• Good performance of the reactor and bellows, including rapid ramping between ambient conditions and 1000°C;
• Demonstration of the benefits of ceramic fibre insulation for lower weight, cost and reduced temperature ramp times.
• Heat generation in the furnace using high-efficiency, low-NOx burners – maximum duties are still to be achieved but operability and efficiency are as expected;
• Transport of hot product back to the host plant needs some modifications to reach design capacity;
• Feeding of raw material to reactor (dosing) – correction of dosing accuracy and pulsing frequency was required.
General operation: The pilot is safe and easy to operate, with no safety incidents.
Calix LEILAC Project Engineer Simon Thomsen hosting a tour of the facility.
The LEILAC consortium is very satisfied with the successful initial test runs and performance of the core technology under non-optimum conditions in a first-of-a- kind plant. The next steps for LEILAC will include further testing and reaching full design throughput. Calix will continue to provide material progress updates from LEILAC.
Calix’s founder, Chief Scientist and Executive Director, Mark Sceats, said it was very gratifying to see the successful demonstration of the Company’s patented Direct Separation concept at Heidelberg Cement’s operations in Belgium.
“Whilst there are still challenges ahead to achieving full design capacity, we have achieved many breakthroughs in many key areas of the technology.”
“The carbon capture piece of our technology represents a unique approach to mitigating CO2 emissions from lime and cement manufacturing and has the potential to leap frog other technologies in terms of both timing and cost.”