Final project agreements executed for LEILAC-2 CO2 capture facility

Reducing CO2 emissions

Phil Hodgson \ June 26, 2020

The success of the The Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) project, to separate and capture CO2 from the cement production process, has enabled our scale-up “LEILAC-2” project to start.

Calix has announced that final project agreements have been executed for the scale-up of its Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) technology for capturing unavoidable CO2 process emissions during the production of lime and cement. Calix has also appointed Emma Bowring, project management executive, to lead LEILAC-2.

The LEILAC-2 demonstration plant will be a four-fold scale-up of the LEILAC-1 pilot plant, currently undergoing operational testing at HeidelbergCement’s Lixhe cement production facility in Belgium. Early results from the pilot have proven the technology concept, and work continues on the gradual increase in operational throughputs, temperatures and durability testing in a program that will run until the end of 2020.

All intellectual property, both existing and developed as part of LEILAC-2, associated with Calix’s core direct CO2 separation technology, will continue to be owned by Calix.

LEILAC-2 was officially launched on April 7, 2020 and will run to the end of March 2025. It will involve the design, construction and operational testing of a 100 kilotonne per annum (ktpa) CO2 capture facility at a working cement plant in Europe. The LEILAC-2 consortium consists of industrial partners such as Heidelberg Cement, Cimpor, Engie, IKN and Lhoist, universities, research institutes and various statutory organisations, and will be led by Calix, co-ordinated through its Calix Europe subsidiary in France.

More CO2 is emitted from cement production than any other industry. Many countries, regions, and companies are now pledging net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, increasing the need to accelerate the deployment of CO2 mitigation technologies such as LEILAC. In May 2019, HeidelbergCement also committed to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, the first cement company to do so.

Jan Theulen, Director Alternative Resources, HeidelbergCement, said, “As we need techno-economical improvements in carbon capture technologies to enable the path towards carbon neutrality by 2050, which we as HeidelbergCement are committed to, projects such as LEILAC are mandatory to make this happen. Therefore, we are keen to take our part of the responsibility in the LEILAC consortium to bring LEILAC-2 to a success.”

Phil Hodgson, CEO Calix, said, “The last two years have seen CO2 emissions move from a vague potential liability into a significant real liability, as CO2 mitigation moves from a nice-to-have to a must-have business strategy, and the owners and stakeholders of businesses demand appropriate risk management of CO2 by those businesses.”

Calix’s commercialisation strategy for its LEILAC technology involves proof of demonstration at the LEILAC-2 scale by 2025, after which licence or royalty arrangements will be sought from those wishing to use the technology, delivered via engineering and technology partners. If fully proven at demonstration scale, LEILAC should have significant cost and operating advantages over competing technologies such as amine CO2 capture (currently being proven at a similar scale to LEILAC-1) and oxyfuel (has not yet been piloted).

LEILAC partners include: HeidelbergCement, Lhoist, Cemex, Calix, PSE, Carbon Trust, TNO, Tarmac (CRH), Quantis, Solvay, Imperial College London and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme.

LEILAC is an EU Horizon 2020 research & innovation project.

After very good results from the first phase of Project LEILAC, further development and scale-up of the Calix technology has started.

The first LEILAC installation was completed at HeidelbergCement’s 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) integrated Lixhe plant in Belgium and inaugurated mid 2019. Led by Emma Bowring, the new 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) process emissions capture facility will be operational by late 2024. Calix has appointed project management executive,

Emma Bowring, to also lead LEILAC-2 as part of the Calix executive management team. Emma has 15 years experience in project management and business development with Sinclair Knight Merz/Jacobs Engineering Group, having worked across a number of industries including international development, infrastructure, oil and gas, health, justice and commercial sectors.

Originally from Australia, Emma has lived and worked around Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia, Russia and now the United Kingdom. Notably, as project manager, Emma successfully delivered a complex AUD50m engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) project involving construction and capacity building programs in the Solomon Islands. We look forward to seeing what she will bring to LEILAC-2.

Emma Bowring, LEILAC Project Leader

“I love working on projects that make a difference and contribute socially and environmentally. This, combined with the challenge of managing remote teams and complex international projects, is what brought me to Calix.”


The LEILAC-2 key objectives are:

• Construction of a demonstration plant that will aim to capture around 20 per cent of a full-scale cement plant’s process CO2 emissions (100,000 tpa of CO2), equivalent to 100 per cent of a large lime kiln’s process emissions, for minimal energy penalty other than compressing the CO2.

• Successful demonstration of up to a four-times scale-up of the technology for around twice the capital cost of the LEILAC-1 facility, confirming cost-efficient CO2 capture for the lime and cement industries.

• Prove the effective retrofit and full integration of the technology into a cement plant’s operations.

• Demonstrate the efficiency and stability of the complete cement-kiln process and high-quality clinker output when integrating Calix’s CO2 separation technology.

• Showcase a modular, replicable, retrofit design for accelerated commercial deployment that delivers flexible scalability for varying operation size and configurations, agility to adopt the technology and decrease emissions progressively, and a broad range of options for captured CO2 utilisation and sequestration. These factors can eliminate the need for large capital expenditure and significant asset write-downs.

• Demonstrate the operation of direct separation kilns for lime and cement using renewable sources of energy such as biomass and renewable sources of electricity, bringing the running of the plant to net zero CO2 emissions and enabling a move away from high carbon-emitting gas or coal-fired plants.

• Enable lime and cement kiln processing plants with a cost-efficient solution to effectively use intermittent renewable energy sources, with rapid ramp up/down rates leveraging electricity and load balancing techniques for grid stability.

Press highlights

related insights

LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement) is a European Union Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation project.

Calix’s technology is being piloted with the world’s largest cement and lime companies to mitigate their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dramatically without significant energy or capital penalty.

Find out more about project LEILAC


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