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Aether trial success for Lafarge

Company completes industrial-scale trial for new-generation of low-carbon cement products

LAFARGE have successfully completed an industrial trial for Aether, the company’s new-generation clinker formulated to reduce the carbon footprint of cement.

The trial mobilized a team of around 100 people over a 10-day period at the Group’s plant in Le Teil, France, and allowed the production of 10,000 tonnes of Aether clinker, confirming the feasibility of industrial-scale production using traditional raw materials.

The result of several years of research by Lafarge R&D teams, Aether cements offer similar properties to ordinary Portland Cement and can be produced in traditional cement plants after minor process adjustments, for a lower overall environmental footprint.

With its new chemical composition, Aether is expected to deliver a 25–30% reduction in CO2 emissions, thanks to: reduced limestone content in the raw mix; a lower temperature (c.1,300°C) during the burning process; and easier grinding, using less energy.

The development project has received the support of the European Union as part of its LIFE+ Programme, a financial instrument to support environmental projects.

The project will contribute to Lafarge’s objective to reduce CO2 emissions by 33% per tonne of cement by 2020, as part of the Group’s Sustainability Ambitions 2020.

The launch of the first Aether products is planned for 2014.

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