Lafarge Bath has a proposal to replace coal in its cement plant with low carbon fuels like weathered treated wood (such as railway ties and utility poles), construction and demolition materials, and asphalt shingles.
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The biggest hurdle for biomass from dedicated fuel crops is that it isn't an economically viable option yet. We’re looking at ways of finding biomass fuels that are more affordable while we continue to work with our farming partners and support research to reduce production costs even further.
Earlier today, Lafarge Canada Inc. began its innovative low carbon fuels project at its cement plant in Bath. Working with partners at Natural Resources Canada, Queen’s University, and Carbon Management Canada, the plant has begun executing on it’s $8 million investment in order to develop innovative solutions to power Lafarge’s cement plant by re-using local surplus materials as low carbon fuels. As of today, the plant will begin utilizing low carbon fuel, and will continue the trial for a period of three years.
"Our commitment is to build better cities and communities. Being a responsible neighbour and sustainable partner in the community where we live, work and raise our families is part our core values," said Richard Sebastianelli, Cement Plant Manager for Lafarge in Bath. "We are delighted to get started on this world class demonstration initiative. We believe that this project is exactly in line with our mission by lowering our carbon footprint, making use of local fuel supplies, and creating local sustainable jobs.”
This multi-partner initiative intends to produce low emission, low carbon fuels from local supplies such as construction and demolition site debris (wood based), railway ties, and other energy containing materials that aren't presently recycled. The results of this full-scale demonstration program will enable the Canadian cement industry to adopt low carbon fuels faster, making the industry more competitive while providing better local value to local communities and, importantly, reducing carbon emissions.
“With the help of our partners, our project will enable the Bath cement plant to use renewable, low carbon fuels that can be found locally, reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, making use of materials that our cities and towns don't currently reuse, and offer a sustainable alternative to the industry at large,” added Sebastianelli.
Carbon Management Canada (CMC), a network of Centres of Excellence that supports research to reduce CO2 emissions, is funding Queen's University researchers who will evaluate the life cycle benefits of low carbon fuels in the cement industry as well as in-depth validation of expected emission reductions. Natural Resources Canada has provided extensive funding towards the construction of the demonstration plant and the R&D to be developed using this system.