Tarmac and Leilac have moved a step closer to delivering the world’s first zero emissions lime plant, with the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) announcing that the Buxton Lime Net Zero project has successfully passed the due diligence phase of the Industrial Carbon Capture (ICC) funding scheme.

The chemical process to make lime from limestone results in the unavoidable release of CO2 directly from the raw material, with such process emissions responsible for the majority of the lime industry’s carbon footprint. Leilac’s technology uses a unique indirect heating approach to keep unavoidable process emissions uncontaminated, thereby enabling their efficient capture as high purity CO2 with no additional chemicals or processes required to separate gases from gases.

The proposed zero emissions plant would use the Leilac technology to capture up to 20,000tpa of process CO2 produced unavoidably during the manufacture of lime. The lime plant would use clean hydrogen to fuel the kiln, eliminating CO2 emissions that would otherwise result from the use of traditional carbon-based fuels.

Daniel Rennie

Leilac CEO, Daniel Rennie, said: “Leilac is delighted to be partnering with Tarmac to produce zero emissions lime. As an essential material across a range of industries, the decarbonisation of lime is an important enabling step towards low and zero carbon industry.

“Demonstrating a viable and low-cost approach for the abatement of unavoidable emissions and the use of alternative clean fuel sources can provide a pathway for zero emissions lime that balances social, economic and environmental sustainability.”

Seamus Lynch, managing director, Cement, Lime and Packed Products, at Tarmac said: “Achieving the UK’s legally binding net zero targets will require significant development of new infrastructure and ground-breaking technologies such as those proposed through this landmark project. It’s therefore hugely encouraging to have progressed to the next step towards this proposed plant becoming a reality.”

High purity limes are essential for everyday life due to their use in pharmaceuticals and water purification. The net zero lime produced from the project would be used in the UK and help lower the carbon footprint of this important domestic industry.

The project is part of the HyNet cluster, a leading UK industrial decarbonisation project, and forms part of the UK Government’s plans to accelerate decarbonisation ambitions and kick start the hydrogen economy.