Swedish Collaboration Successfully Reduces Lime Kiln CO2 Emissions by 36,000 Tons Annually

Swedish Collaboration Successfully Reduces Lime Kiln CO2 Emissions by 36,000 Tons Annually

A joint effort between the Centre for Sustainable Cement and Quicklime Production at Umeå University, Nordkalk AB, and the Swedish Energy Agency has achieved significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from lime kilns in Sweden. By implementing biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels, emissions have been slashed by over 36,000 tons per year.

The project, named “Renewable Energy Carriers in Quicklime Production,” focuses on exploring and demonstrating the viability of biofuels as substitutes for fossil fuels in lime kilns. The ultimate objective is to curtail fossil carbon dioxide emissions in quicklime production by promoting the use of renewable energy sources like forestry or agricultural residues, as well as refined biofuels.

Matias Eriksson, the director of the Centre for Sustainable Cement and Quicklime Production, expressed satisfaction with the project’s success. “Implementing biofuels in lime kilns has been highly successful,” he stated. Eriksson, also an adjunct associate professor at Umeå University’s Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, emphasized the importance of this achievement in combating climate change.

The project’s primary target is to reduce non-renewable energy carrier-related carbon dioxide emissions in Nordkalk AB’s quicklime production by 46 percent, equivalent to a reduction of 71,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. To meet this goal, two sub-goals were established: implementing 100 percent renewable energy carriers at Kalkproduktion Storugns AB’s lime kiln in Lärbro and integrating 30 percent renewable energy carriers at Nordkalk AB’s lime kiln in Köping.

Eriksson commended Nordkalk for its impressive progress in substituting coal with biofuels at the Köping lime kiln. He revealed that the Köping kiln, which produces top-quality lime for steel and pulp industries, surpassed the target of 30 percent biomass fuel usage and is now aiming for 50 percent. Furthermore, Nordkalk is conducting trials with 100 percent liquid biofuel at KPAB on Gotland, a company in which Nordkalk holds the majority stake, to evaluate its suitability for continuous operation.

In parallel with practical support for Nordkalk and KPAB, researchers and PhD students at the Centre for Sustainable Cement and Quicklime Production conducted laboratory studies on selected biofuels in a simulated industrial environment. These studies aimed to assess the impact of biofuels on limestone, quicklime, and refractory materials under controlled conditions, providing crucial insights into the potential and limitations of fuel switching.

Markus Broström, a Professor at Umeå University’s Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, underscored the significance of these investigations. He emphasized that the studies furnish a detailed understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with fuel switching, offering valuable guidance for future endeavours in the field.

Overall, the collaboration’s achievements in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from lime kilns contribute to Sweden’s sustainability efforts and set a positive example for the global cement and quicklime production industry.

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