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1st Jul 2023

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An update on Chart and FLSmidth’s carbon capture collaboration

Carbon capture
In September 2021, FLSmidth signed an agreement with Chart Industries (Chart), a pioneer in carbon capture technology suitable for the cement industry. Eighteen months on, we check in to see how this partnership is progressing.

“It’s very exciting to see game-changing solutions taking shape,” says David Leonardus Williamson, CCUS Process Specialist, FLSmidth. “The pilot project at Sugar Creek is progressing nicely. This year will see the equipment delivered to the site, and next year we will commission the equipment and start seeing the operational results. This is a significantly bigger project than the last one Chart undertook prior to the partnership with FLSmidth. We’re scaling up from 1 tonne a day to 30 tonnes a day. Looking at the technology, it seems perfectly plausible that in the future we’ll be commissioning systems capable of capturing 1000 tonnes a day or more. It’s that promising.”

Chart’s Cryogenic Carbon Capture™ (CCC) technology treats the flue gases by diverting the exhaust gas stream and applying the thermodynamics of pressure and temperature to freeze the carbon. The clean, treated air is then released into the atmosphere. This post-combustion process removes 95 – 99% of CO2 emissions without using absorption chemicals or membrane technologies. CCC also has the potential to eliminate harmful SOx, NOx and mercury pollutants from flue gases.

“Compared to other carbon capture technologies, the Chart solution requires less energy and is therefore more economical, which I think gives it a viable future in the cement industry,” says David Leonardus Williamson, FLSmidth. “Plus, it doesn’t require significant changes to a cement plant’s existing process, which is a real plus. It’s simple. This is one of the things that drew us to the solution in the first place.“

In a previous demonstration that was part of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, capture and use was demonstrated at a commercial cement plant. During this testing, the system captured CO2, converted it to merchant liquid form, stored and transported it in a liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2) cylinder. Chart then partnered with CarbonCure for a downstream CO2 demonstration, where the liquid form of carbon was injected into the concrete as it was being mixed. It immediately reacted with the cement and mineralized enhancing the quality of the concrete. This was the first field test showing a complete capture and use scenario within the cement industry where captured CO2 from cement production can be sequestered permanently in its main product stream – concrete.

“The potential to use the captured carbon is very interesting,” says David Leonardus Williamson, CCUS Process Specialist, FLSmidth. “Of course, we have to acknowledge that CCC is part of a wider effort to addressing cement’s carbon problem. We still need to reduce clinker content and continue working on fuel replacement and energy efficiency projects. But within the next decade I think carbon capture will be a very important tool for the cement industry. It’s great to be part of that movement, pushing it along.”