The “CLEANKER” project: CO₂ capture in the cement industry

The CLEANKER (CLEAN clinKER production by calcium looping process) project got EC support from October 2017 to September 2021 under the Horizon 2020 call LCE 29 – 2017. CLEANKER ( aims at demonstrating at TRL7 (Technology Readiness Level) the Calcium Looping (CaL) concept in a configuration highly integrated with the cement production process, making use of entrained flow reactors.

There are currently no feasible methods to produce clinker, and thus cement, without releasing CO2 from CaCO3, and, given the lifetime of a cement plant (about 50 years), the technologies to be developed have to be retrofittable. In addition to oxyfuel combustion and post-combustion solvent-based capture technologies, which have attracted most of the research efforts up to now, Calcium Looping is recognized as another very promising emerging technol- ogy for CO2 capture in cement plants.

The core activity of the project is the design, construction and operation of a CaL demonstration system including the entrained-flow carbonator (the CO2 absorber) and the entrained-flow oxyfuel calciner (the sorbent regene- rator). This demonstration system, connected to the Buzzi Unicem kiln of the Vernasca cement plant (Italy), will capture the CO2 from a portion of the flue gases of the kiln, using as CO2 sorbent the same raw meal that is used for clinker production.

The CLEANKER implementation plan spans four years from October 2017 to September 2021.The project is in its crucial phase: the erection of the demo plant is going to be completed by the end of April 2020 and the experimental campaigns will start immediately after.

Author: M. Fantini, M. Spinelli, F. Magli, M. Gatti, S. Consonni

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