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As the first project within the EU Framework Programs, CEMCAP focuses on the challenge of capturing CO2 from cement plants. Other major projects in Europe on CO2 capture from the cement industry are the ECRA CCS project and Norcem CCS project.


CO2 emissions from the cement industry constitute 5% (or 1.9 Gt annually) of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions[1].  Given the ambitious energy and climate targets that the EU has proposed and agreed on (40% emissions reduction by 2030[2], 80-95% emissions reduction by 2050), CO2 emissions from energy-intensive industries will need to be eliminated or significantly reduced.

CO2 generation is an inherent part of the cement production process, due to the calcination of the most important raw material, limestone (CaCO3 converted to CaO and CO2): about 60 % of the CO2 emissions from cement production are due to this conversion, whereas 40% come from the burning of fuels (which are to a large extent fossil) to provide heat for the clinker production. There are currently no feasible methods to produce clinker and thus cement without releasing CO2 from CaCO3. Furthermore, cement plants typically have a lifetime as long as 30-50 years. Thus, the only viable option to significantly reduce GHG emissions from the cement industry is CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS), where CO2 capture must be retrofitted to existing cement plants.

[1] Cement Technology Roadmap 2009; Carbon emissions reductions up to 2050. December 2009, International Energy Agency; Paris.

[2] Suggested target in: A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030. January 2014, The European Commission; Brussels.

CEMCAP objectives

The European cement industry has committed itself to contributing to climate protection measures and therefore to curbing its CO2 emissions. CO2 capture technologies, although an essential part of all CO2 reduction scenarios, are not yet ready for large-scale deployment in the cement industry. Hence, the primary objective of CEMCAP is

  • To prepare the ground for large-scale implementation of CO2 capture in the European cement industry

To achieve this objective, CEMCAP will

  • Leverage to TRL 6 for cement plants the oxyfuel capture technology and three fundamentally different post combustion capture technologies, all of them with a targeted capture rate of 90%.
  • Identify the CO2 capture technologies with the greatest potential to be retrofitted to existing cement plants in a cost and resource effective manner, maintaining product quality and environmental compatibility.
  • Formulate a techno-economic decision-basis for CO2 capture implementation in the cement industry, where the current uncertainty regarding CO2 capture cost is reduced by at least 50%.

For successful large-scale deployment of CO2 capture in the cement industry, technologies must be developed beyond the current state of the art. In order to bring the most promising retrofittable CO2 capture technologies to a higher TRL level and closer to implementation, CEMCAP will

  • Describe the routes for the development required to close technology gaps for CO2 capture from cement and assist technology suppliers along the related innovation chains.
  • Identify and follow up minimum five potential innovations springing from CEMCAP research.

Technologies suitable for CO2 capture retrofit are focused on in CEMCAP, because cement plants typically have a lifetime of as long as 30-50 years, and very few new plants are being built. However, the results from CEMCAP will enable looking beyond the horizon for implementation of CO2 capture in existing cement plants. New plants and novel CO2 capture integrations based on CEMCAP results can be envisaged. Therefore, CEMCAP will

  • Create pathways for the low to near-zero CO2 emission cement production of the future.