Project is most significant of its kind in Canada
Lafarge Canada Inc. and its partners – University of Calgary, Queen’s University, and Pembina Institute – are conducting a million-dollar study on the environmental benefits of introducing lower carbon fuels at the company’s Exshaw Cement Plant in Alberta. Building from previous research, this multi-partner, multi-site lower carbon fuels project is the most significant of its kind in Canada.
ERA is supporting the initiative through a project that is being carried out by the University of Calgary.
“This project is an important step forward in understanding the opportunities for reducing GHG emissions at cement plants in Alberta and across Canada,” said ERA CEO, Steve MacDonald. “The partnership between industry, two provinces, and the federal government is a good example of the collaborative efforts required to advance low carbon innovation.”
“Our estimates show each 20 percent incremental replacement of natural gas at the Exshaw Cement Plant with lower carbon fuels could result in the elimination of nearly 75,000 tonnes per year of CO2. This is the equivalent of taking over 16,000 cars off the road annually. While these are preliminary estimates, this research project will assess these figures precisely and in the local context,” said Rob Cumming, Environmental Director, Lafarge.
Eight lower carbon fuels will be researched, including construction renovation/demolition waste, non-recyclable plastic, carpets and textiles, shingles, treated wood products, wood products, rubber and tire derived fuels. These sources of fuel have been successfully used at other Lafarge cement plants in Canada and around the world.
Research by the partners will measure the environmental components associated with the sourcing, processing and full-scale commercial operation of each lower carbon fuel compared to fossil fuels. The project will also measure the benefits of diverting materials from landfills and determine optimal points in the cement manufacturing process to inject each fuel.
Additional funding for this project is provided by Alberta Innovates, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). It includes research by Millennium EMS Solutions Ltd., Geocycle, and WSP Global Inc.
Prior to this project, Carbon Management Canada helped fund work by Queens University work for a pilot at the Lafarge Cement Plant in Bath, Ontario.