Leilac-2 gets a substantial update, including a lighter and simplified design that supports Leilac’s vision for low-cost decarbonisation solutions for cement and lime.

Leilac-2 demonstration plant
Figure 1: An impression of the Leilac-2 demonstration plant, located at Heidelberg Materials’ Hanover cement plant.

The Leilac-2 demonstration plant’s Front End Engineering Design Study (FEED) provides a substantial update to the project’s original design. The FEED study, a critical phase in large industrial projects and an important milestone for the Leilac-2 project, is used to estimate the technical specifications, subsequent cost, and procurement needed.

The Leilac-2 FEED study reveals significant improvements, including a lighter and simplified design to support our vision for a low-cost and scalable carbon capture solution for the cement and lime industry. The design aims to use fuels, processes, and efficiencies as close as possible to the host plant. The resulting design supports the project partner’s vision for low-cost decarbonisation, and a design that can be scaled to address all a cement plant’s process CO₂ emissions.

The key features of Leilac-2’s design now include:

  • Targeted capture capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year of >95% purity CO₂
  • Four calciner tubes in one furnace chamber
  • A preheater string for heat transfer from flue gas
  • Fuel flexibility, with staged operations for natural gas, through to biomass and ambition for full alternative fuel (AF) use
  • Full heat integration with the plant, with safe material conveying
  • Use of typical cement plant equipment allowing for easy integration, operation, and maintenance.

Value Engineering enabled significant cost reductions and an improved design

Leilac-2 value engineering
Heidelberg Materials’ cement plant in Hannover, Germany. Image credit: Heidelberg Materials

An elegant multi-tube furnace design

As a first-of-its-kind, the development of Leilac-2 involves risks inherent with technology development. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, ongoing supply chain disruption, and inflationary pressures have had an impact, including delays and increased input costs. A Value Engineering phase, undertaken after the Financial Investment Decision (FID), has helped to mitigate many of these issues with a simplified design. In particular, the development of a replicable multi-tube module within one furnace chamber provides the basis from which Leilac can scale towards its full-scale vision.

Leilac-2 value engineered design
Figure 2: Value Engineered Basis of Design

Leilac-2 is our vision for a low-cost and scalable carbon capture solution

The Leilac-2 consortium is led by technology provider Calix Limited and its subsidiary, Leilac Limited, along with our partners Heidelberg Materials, Engie Laborelec, IKN, CERTH, LEAP, BGR, CEMEX, POLIMI, Cimpor, Lhoist, Port of Rotterdam, and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. The project is also supported by the GCCA, CEMBUREAU, ECRA, EuLA, VDZ and the University of Clausthal as the External Advisory Board.

Leilac-2 partners

The five-year project is funded by the European Commission through a €16M grant from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, (grant no. 884170), and a further €18M contributed by consortium members towards the development of the demonstration plant.

The concept of the Leilac technology has been proven at pilot scale through the Horizon 2020-funded Leilac-1 pilot plant at Heidelberg Material’s plant in Lixhe, Belgium. Leilac-1 has the capacity to capture 25 000 tonnes of CO₂ per year at more than 98% purity. This equates to about 5% of a typical cement plant’s process CO₂ emissions.

Building on this success, Leilac-2, which is being built at Heidelberg Materials’ cement plant in Hannover, Germany, will build and validate a replicable module with a capture capacity of 100 000 tonnes of CO₂ per year, or about 20% of a typical cement plant’s process CO₂ emissions.

Timeline: Commissioning and testing to start by March 2025

The procurement of long lead equipment items is underway. The commencement of civil works (demolition) has commenced following some permitting delay due to local wildlife considerations.

The project team will minimise delays through the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase of the project and expects to start commissioning and initial testing in March 2025.

Once built, the demonstration plant will be validated under actual operating conditions, with a staged integration and fuels commissioning programme along with a variety of tests to confirm the technology’s performance and integration, paving the way for full-scale roll-out.