The pilot plant for the CLEANKER project was inaugurated at Buzzi Unicem’s Vernasca facility on Friday, October 9. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate a technology for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) in cement plants.
After three very busy years of work and engineering we have finally arrived at the crucial phase, namely testing within an industrial setting the applicability of the Calcium Looping technology for capturing carbon dioxide released during the cement production process. The series of tests will be conducted in the manner typical of research projects, with short and long tests to be performed over a period of approximately 10 months, with a total actual operating time of one month at most. The time between each test will vary depending upon the analysis of the data collected in the previous series so that the operating parameters can be optimally calibrated before performing the next set of tests.
The CLEANKER (CLEAN- clinKER) project will allow us to estimate the modifications and expenditures that will be required for existing cement plants, as well as their operational costs in order to also assess the economic sustainability of the CO2 capture technology.
During the morning, several speakers took to the podium to address the following topics: “CCUS – Capture, Use and Storage of CO2 – a technological challenge and an opportunity for industry”, presented by Stefano Consonni, President of LEAP; “CCUS in the cement industry”, by Luigi Buzzi, Group Technical Director; “CLEANKER: technology, experimentation and future prospects”, by Matteo Romano from the Polytechnic University of Milan; “CLEANKER: technological successes achieved”, by Giovanni Cinti and Guido Pellegrino from Italcementi, and “The European, national and regional vision for the fight against climate change”, by Riccardo Basosi, Marcello Capra, Attilio Raimondi and Sandro Fuzzi.
The mayor of Vernasca, Giuseppe Sidoli, also offered words of appreciation for all the partners involved in this important, innovative project.
The event was covered by the local media with the goal of creating a better understanding among the local communities of the importance of this research project. Fabio Lunardini, a journalist from the Libertà newspaper, interviewed Antonio Buzzi, the COO of Cement Italy, and Professor Stefano Consonni.
The meeting, which was attended by over 50 people, concluded with the ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the plant.