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The US Department of Energy has recently awarded a grant to leading cement, concrete, and aggregates suppliers, CEMEX; RTI International; and Carbon Clean and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to work together to develop a carbon dioxide capture system and commercially feasible carbon utilization solution.

According to Forbes, this project will be linked to the Victorville, California-based cement plant of CEMEX. It will explore cost-competitive solutions to close the loop on present emissions of carbon totally.

Part of the challenge is the development's slow pace in carbon capture and use or storage. It has played a vital role in de-carbonization pathways, although only a few plants are present globally.

While at first, carbon capture and storage was linked to the concept of clean coal, the notion that carbon capture would allow the world to continue with the use of fossil fuels.

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Science Times - Commercial Carbon Capture and Use, Taking One Step Ahead with Leading Companies in the Industry
(Photo: Oxymoron on Wikimedia Commons)
CEMEX Concrete Plant


The Challenge

The energy penalty and the cost of technology, though, integrated with the fast collapse of price in renewable energy technologies, have weakened its progress.

Where there is an interesting opportunity, though, is in heavy industry, in segments which releases are customarily difficult to reduce.

Specifically, the challenge is that the challenge for making steel, cement, and fertilizer, among others, need an extremely high temperature or produce emissions through chemical procedures, something renewable energy might not be able to solve.

According to Jaime Muguir, President of CEMEX USA, the company is "committed to being part of the solution" to lessen carbon emissions worldwide, as well as to deliver net-zero C02 concrete to all of its customers by the year 2050.

To date, CEMEX has already introduced a low-carbon and net-zero CO2 products where it is usually found and is regarded as a milestone towards "carbon-neutral construction" turning out to be a reality.


Vital Role of Carbon Capture

While the so-called "carbon capture storage and use or CCU are said to be nowhere near commercial at present, it is expected to play a vital role in sectors where renewable energy cannot contribute with large-scale 'decarbonization.' This according to the said report, is primarily in heavy sectors like cement, ceramics, cement, and steel.

Meanwhile, Carbon Clean, headquartered in the United Kingdom, is currently working on various strategies to reach net-zero, including "CCS, ICCU, and biomethane," among others. According to the firm, so far, it has eliminated more than 800,000 tons of CO2 from its more than 30 facilities all over the world.

Carbon Clean CEO Aniruddha Sharma said, CEMEX is sharing its mission to allow the "net-zero transition by developing" cost-oriented modularized carbon capture solutions. This latest grant from the US government is endorsing the essentiality of such work.

Overall Objectives of the Carbon Reduction Project

The consortium's overall objective is to increase efficiencies and value in the overall building material fabrication process of CEMEX while considerably lowering its CO2 footprint through the influence of upgrades in technology.

This project is expected to cover the modular technology's integration features with CEMEX processes, evaluate cots, and any technical considerations in transforming captured CO2 into a useful product.

In recent months, Carbon Clean announced it had agreed on deals with Veolia for use in its UK energy from waste plants. It also said it is currently working on two CCUS and one compacted biogas project in India, with Veolia.

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