Tarmac a step closer to world first CCS zero emissions lime plant 

March 30, 2023

Tarmac, in collaboration with Leilac, has moved a step closer to delivering the world’s first zero emissions lime plant, having passed the due diligence phase with The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) as part of the Industrial Carbon Capture (ICC) funding scheme, track 1 phase 2. 

The Buxton Lime Net Zero (BLN0) project aims to develop the world’s first commercial scale zero emissions lime plant which will use integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.  The project forms part of the government’s plans to accelerate the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions and kick start the hydrogen economy. 

The proposed plant would capture and store up to 20,000tpa of process CO2 produced unavoidably during the manufacture of lime. The lime would also be manufactured using clean hydrogen to fuel the kiln, eliminating any CO2 that would be emitted from traditional carbon-based fuels. 

The chemical process to make lime from limestone results in the unavoidable release of CO2 directly from the raw material, with such process emissions responsible for the majority of the lime industry’s carbon footprint. Leilac’s technology uses a unique indirect heating approach to keep unavoidable process emissions uncontaminated, thereby enabling their efficient capture as high purity CO2 with no additional chemicals or processes required to separate gases from gases.  

High purity limes are essential for everyday life due to their use in pharmaceuticals and water purification. The net zero lime produced from the project would be used in the UK and help lower the carbon footprint of this important domestic industry. 

Seamus Lynch, managing director, Cement, Lime and Packed Products, at Tarmac said: “Achieving the UK’s legally binding net zero targets will require significant development of new infrastructure and ground-breaking technologies such as those proposed through this landmark project. It’s therefore hugely encouraging to have progressed to the next step towards this proposed plant becoming a reality.” 

Leilac CEO, Daniel Rennie, said: “Leilac is delighted to be partnering with Tarmac to produce zero emissions lime. As an essential material across a range of industries the decarbonisation of lime is an important enabling step towards low and zero carbon industry. 

“Demonstrating a viable and low-cost approach for the abatement of unavoidable emissions and the use of alternative clean fuel sources can provide a pathway for zero emissions lime that balances social, economic and environmental sustainability.” 

The BLN0 project is one of the many initiatives Tarmac is involved in part of its wider Act Sustainability Strategy to support sustainable and low carbon solutions across the materials and construction sectors.