The Middlesbrough-based Materials Processing Institute is leading a major £6.5m project to develop the world’s first zero emission cement on an industrial scale.

The Cement 2 Zero project will focus on the technical and commercial aspects of this breakthrough development, which will bolster green steelmaking, eliminating the carbon emissions associated with the manufacture of clinker in cement kilns.

Instead, the project aims to create cement clinker using Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF), which produce steel from recycled scrap metal and lime (EAF flux).

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The concrete and cement sector is a key part of a combined mineral products industry, which contributed around £16bn to the UK’s GDP in 2018, and directly employs 81,000 people, supporting a further 3.5m jobs. Steel recycling in the UK could expand to £11 million tonnes per year by recycling all scrap – estimated to be worth £2.8bn per year.

Led by national research and innovation centre, the Materials Processing Institute, the two-year project will be conducted in partnership with the University of Cambridge, Tarmac, Atkins, Cardiff-based steel firm Celsa Manufacturing UK, Balfour Beatty, Livingston-based Brewster Brothers Ltd, which specialises in construction, demolition, and waste recycling, and Day Group, a leading supplier of construction materials.

Chris McDonald, Chief Executive of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “We are delighted to be leading a project that has the potential to make a major contribution to achieving a zero-carbon society, secure and increase jobs in the UK cement and steel sectors and challenge conventional production processes.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Driving down emissions from the production of cement is one of the key challenges facing British manufacturers and construction companies. Achieving it will have hugely beneficial knock-on effects for the competitiveness of businesses right across UK supply chains."


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