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2020 / 2021 Edition

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CEMEX awarded grant to explore membrane technology

Membrane Solution

Low-cost innovative carbon capture technology to be implemented at Texas cement plant

CEMEX have been awarded a grant from the US Department of Energy to research and develop innovative carbon capture technology at their Balcones cement plant in Texas. The grant will be used to partially fund a feasibility study to implement this technology and is expected to be an important advancement towards CEMEX’s ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete globally by 2050.

In this initiative, CEMEX are partnering with Membrane Technology & Research Inc. (MTR) to conduct an 18-month study at the cement plant in New Braunfels, and explore the potential CO2 emission reduction from installing new membrane technology in the plant’s production process. According to MTR, the membrane will act as a semi-permeable barrier through which CO2 can pass, facilitating carbon capture at a minimal adoption cost.

‘At CEMEX, sustainability is embedded in our operations, and we are consistently looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint,’ said CEMEX US president Jaime Muguiro. ‘We strive to develop and gradually adapt new technology which will help us achieve our ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete to all of our customers. With this grant, we will be able to leverage our expertise to define the feasibility of implementing the membrane carbon capture technology in a cost-effective manner.’

‘Cement plant emissions are a good target for the CO2 capture membrane technology that we’ve been developing with DOE support,’ added MTR vice-president of technology Tim Merkel. ‘We look forward to working with CEMEX on this exciting project to confirm that our technology can capture cement plant emissions at a minimal cost.’

Early this year, CEMEX announced their Climate Action strategy, defining a global target of a 35% reduction of CO2 emissions per tonne of cementitious products by 2030. Additionally, they are the first company in the industry to target a CO2 reduction in their European operations of at least 55% by 2030. To complement this strategy with a longer-term vision, the company also established an ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 in all its concretes globally by 2050.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage technology is a key lever to deliver on this 2050 ambition. To achieve that milestone, CEMEX is currently participating in 20 projects worldwide aimed at accelerating the development of technological solutions which have the greatest potential to minimize the cost of capture, utilization or avoidance of CO2 on an industrial scale.

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