• Buzzi Unicem studies decarbonised cement production with Italgas

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      Greg Kelsall

Italian energy company Italgas has partnered with cement producer Buzzi Unicem to help the company decarbonise the production of cement using captured CO2 utilisation combined with power-to-gas (P2G).

The study will assess the possibility of producing and using, in the most suitable Buzzi Unicem plants, synthetic methane obtained from the combination of green-hydrogen produced by the P2G plants with part of the CO2 released in the cement production processes. Italgas will leverage its experience gained in projects implemented in Sardinia where the company produced green-hydrogen from a P2G system, which was used to decarbonise transport and energy intensive industries.

The collaboration aims to promote environmental sustainability whilst expanding the companies presence in the low-carbon energy business sector.

Paolo Gallo, the CEO of Italgas said: “We strongly believe in P2G technology and in its strategic contribution to the energy transition in terms of sector coupling.  The production of hydrogen from renewable sources enables the use of gas networks in the dual function of carrier and energy storage asset, ensuring greater flexibility to the system. The agreement represents a great opportunity for us to take a further step forward in the study of innovative solutions and technological best practices.”

Buzzi Unichem are currently experimenting with Calcium Looping technology for capturing the CO2 released by the production process at their plant in Vernasca (Piacenza, Italy).  This is based on the EU Horizon 2020 funded CLEANKER (CLEAN- clinKER) project, allowing assessment of the technical and economic sustainability of this technology and estimate the changes to the plant and the investments required to adopt this process in existing cement plants. 

Although not stated explicitly, it seems likely that calcium looping will be the preferred technology option for CO2 capture in the Buzzi Unichem/Italgas study.

Calcium looping application for limestone to clinker application