By Pierre Bertrand

Heidelberg Materials, a leading German cement manufacturer, has announced plans to revolutionize the production of low-carbon cement in France through the implementation of cutting-edge technologies.

In an industry-first initiative, Heidelberg Materials will establish an industrial-scale separation facility at its Acheres quarry near Paris. This facility will specialize in crushing demolished concrete, transforming it into sand, aggregates, and recycled concrete paste.

The recycled sand and aggregates will be utilized for the creation of new concrete, while the paste will undergo carbonation at the Ranville cement plant in Normandy. The newly developed carbonation reactor will expose the paste to carbon dioxide-containing exhaust gases, enhancing its binding properties and transforming it into clinker, a crucial component in cement production. This groundbreaking process has the potential to reduce the carbon emissions of the Ranville plant by an impressive 20%.

Subject to proper funding, construction for both pilot technologies is slated to commence in 2024, with the production of recycled concrete paste scheduled to commence in 2025. The treatment reactor is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Heidelberg Materials' efforts mark a significant step forward in sustainable cement production, offering a promising solution to minimize environmental impact. By embracing innovative technology, the company is leading the way towards a greener future for the construction industry.

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