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Industrial scale-up of LEILAC technology

Hanover cement plant

HeidelbergCement's Hanover cement plant chosen as location for LEILAC 2 carbon capture pilot project

HAVING achieved very good results from the first project phase, HeidelbergCement are starting the further development and scaling-up of LEILAC (low-emissions intensity lime and cement) technology together with the Australian technology company Calix and a European consortium.

After examining different locations, it has been decided to build the LEILAC 2 demonstration installation for carbon capture at the HeidelbergCement cement plant in Hanover, Germany.


As part of LEILAC 1, a pilot installation with a CO2 capture capacity of 25,000 tonnes per year was constructed at HeidelbergCement's Lixhe plant, in Belgium, in 2017. With LEILAC 2, an installation around four times as large will capture 20% of the cement plant’s capacity, corresponding to around 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The initial project design phase is due to be completed by the end of June 2021 and the demonstration installation is expected to be ready by the end of 2023. Including design, construction, commissioning and extensive testing, the overall project is expected to be completed by 2025.

‘LEILAC technology has the potential to enable the cement and lime industries to efficiently capture their process emissions on an industrial scale,’ said Dr Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement.

‘The pilot project in Hanover is one of several promising CO2-capture technologies that we are currently testing at full speed within the HeidelbergCement Group.’

With the patented LEILAC technology, the CO2 released during cement production can be captured in a highly pure form via a separate waste gas stream and used in another process. Like its predecessor project, LEILAC 1, LEILAC 2 is based on Calix’s innovative calciner technology.

The project costs amount to €25 million, of which €16 million are coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme and €9 million are being provided by the project consortium partners. HeidelbergCement's share of this amounts to €3 million.

The project in Hanover will also include preliminary investigations into the use of the captured CO2.

‘In cement production, two-thirds of the CO2 emissions consist of process-related emissions that are released when heating the limestone and are, therefore, unavoidable,’ said Jan Theulen, director of alternative resources at HeidelbergCement.

‘The LEILAC 1 project has already successfully demonstrated that this unavoidable process CO2 can be successfully captured and that the technology also works in practice on a larger scale.’

The main aspects of the LEILAC 2 project are the further scaling-up of the technology to a large industrial scale, the complete integration of the process into an existing cement plant and sourcing of the heat supply for the installation from renewable energies for climate-neutral CO2 capture.

HeidelbergCement have set themselves the goal of reducing their CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared with the reference year 1990. In order to achieve this, the Group has intensified its research in the area of CO2 emissions and is investing in several different pilot projects and technologies for the capture, utilization and storage (CCU/S) of CO2 emissions.

In addition to LEILAC, the company is involved in a number of other development and scaling projects, such as the ‘Northern Lights’ CCS project in Norway and the ‘Catch4Climate’ CCU project in Germany with partners from the cement industry.

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