Holcim partnership to develop breakthrough energy storage solution

Holcim is developing a breakthrough energy storage technology with INSA Lyon and ENGIE’s Corporate Research Center, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, to serve as an alternative to batteries. The solution is based on cement hydration, storing heat as energy and releasing it when needed in an infinitely repeatable cycle. This next-generation approach offers an alternative to conventional battries that is local, safe, affordable and recyclable.

Fidelio Bermejo, Head of Global Innovation: “The world needs innovative solutions to accelerate our shift towards renewable energy generation, distribution and storage – all areas in which Holcim can play a big part. With this collaboration, we are moving energy storage forward, opening up a new range of solutions based on materials that are local and recyclable.”

Cementitious material used as energy storage

This innovation is based on leveraging the unique properties of a specific cementitious material that can absorb 300 kiloWatt of energy per cubic meter and release it later through hydration. It is designed to store the surplus energy that runs through a heating network and release it when needed through a hydration trigger. This cycle can be repeated infinitely. Holcim and its partners will investigate how to efficiently integrate this solution into a heating network and the broader energy infrastructure.

A breakthrough solution for energy management in cities

This innovative approach could help meet the demands of renewable energy storage while optimizing urban heating networks in line with Holcim’s vision to build greener cities. Holcim is putting its expertise to work in many ways to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy, from 3D printing of windmill towers to enabling roads that recharge electric vehicles.

More information is available here.

Northwest Cement Council is Growing

Seattle, Washington, February 1, 2022:  The Northwest Cement Council (NCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Antara Choudhary as a Market Development Manager.

“We are most fortunate to have Antara as a member of our growing organization,” said Diane Warner, Executive Director of the Council.

“Antara brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about cement and concrete, which will be of enormous value in helping us to expand our network and to build a greater appreciation of their importance in today’s economy.”

A graduate of Oregon State University, where she completed her Ph.D. in Civil and Construction Engineering, she also has studied at Stanford University, where she received her Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, where she received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering.

Her doctoral studies focused on Portland Cement (PLC) where she researched the impacts of heat hydration, drying, shrinkage, and flexural strength. She has also studied the influence of PLC on the transport and durability properties of concrete. After three years of rigorous testing, this research led to the approval of PLC by CalTrans.

The Northwest Cement Council has launched a new website designed to be more engaging to key stakeholders and the general public, noted Diane Warner. “The knowledge base that Antara brings to the Council will help us to translate scientific data about the advantages of cement and concrete into messages that designers, engineers, construction companies, and operators of buildings and associated infrastructure will better understand”, she added.

“I am looking forward to new opportunities with the Northwest Cement Council”, said Choudhary.  “Working with the members of the Council, I will be able to translate my knowledge of the chemistry of cement and concrete into practical solutions that are of growing importance as we strive to lower the carbon footprint of the built environment.”

Antara will be based in Seattle, but her work will extend throughout the Pacific Northwest.

About the Northwest Cement Council

The Northwest Cement Council (NCC) represents the four largest cement companies operating cement grinding and manufacturing facilities in Oregon and Washington. Our members include CalPortland, Ash Grove Cement, Lehigh Hanson, and the LafargeHolcim United States. Together we promote, protect and advocate the use of cement and concrete solutions in resilient, economical and environmentally responsible construction in the Pacific Northwest. Follow the activities of the Council via our website (nwcement.org/), on LinkedIn, and Twitter (@nwcement).

Lehigh Hanson Joins Roadmap To Carbon Neutrality By 2050

Lehigh Hanson, Inc. has joined an ambitious journey to achieving carbon neutrality across the cement and concrete value chain by signing onto the Portland Cement Association’s (PCA) Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality.

In collaboration with PCA’s other member companies and experts, the Roadmap demonstrates how the U.S. cement and concrete industry can collectively address climate change, decrease greenhouse gases and eliminate barriers that are restricting environmental progress.

Given the significant role of cement in society and anticipated infrastructure development, it is critical that the industry comes together and acts now to create sustainable building solutions in the decades to come.

“Today marks a critical step in transforming the cement industry and building a more sustainable future,” said Chris Ward, President and CEO of Lehigh Hanson. 

“We are excited to partner with PCA to drive policy in support of this dynamic transition while also investing in technology and innovation to achieve carbon neutrality.”

The Roadmap focuses on a comprehensive range of reduction strategies for stakeholders to adopt across all phases of the material’s life cycle, such as reducing CO2 from the manufacturing process, decreasing combustion emissions by changing fuel sources and shifting toward increased use of renewable electricity.

Many of the solutions included in the PCA Roadmap are products, technologies and approaches that exist today – and by bringing together a variety of collaborators, PCA intends to ensure the adoption of these solutions on a broad scale.

This will accomplish near-term benefits while constantly striving toward the long-term success of reaching carbon neutrality.

With aggressive emission reductions targets charted in its own roadmap, Lehigh Hanson has already made significant strides in the journey to carbon neutrality, including an increased focus on alternative fuels and supplementary cementitious materials as well as innovative carbon capture storage and use research.

Lehigh Hanson has also led the push for lower carbon cement products with its EcoCem®PLC and EcoCem®PLUS types of cement which provide strength and durability while significantly reducing the carbon footprint of concrete.

Industry experts, researchers, policymakers and companies along the value chain are imperative to realize the multitude of solutions that must be developed across policies and regulations, technology,

innovation and demand generation – creating both near-and long-term COreduction opportunities and constantly striving toward carbon neutrality.

Additionally, cement and concrete companies worldwide have committed to achieving carbon neutrality across the value chain by 2050.

Addressing climate change is a global task, but each country presents specific opportunities and unique challenges, and the PCA Roadmap presents a plan tailored to the U.S. cement and concrete industry. PCA is aligned with the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s Roadmap.

View the full Roadmap here.

CalPortland Recognized as a Winner for Energy Efficiency

CalPortland has been recognized by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) for its outstanding environmental and community relations efforts that go above and beyond what is required.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced the winners of the 2021 Energy and Environment (E&E) Awards after reviewing submissions from plants across the U.S. were  

The CalPortland Mojave Cement Plant was recognized for its achievements in modifying and upgrading its vertical roller mill (VRM). Intent on increasing the energy efficiency of the VRM, a recent upgrade was performed on the mill separator and the addition of a supervisory process control system.

Additional testing led the team to address the potential of mill overflow and shutdown by adding additional modifications including a bottom hopper cone on each of the cyclones and a replacement of the mill fan housing.

“America’s cement manufacturers continue to focus on researching and developing new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint,” said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland.

 “These accomplishments and industry commitment to carbon neutrality across the entire value chain demonstrate PCA members dedication to energy efficiency and a more sustainable future.”

To learn more, please visit: www.cement.org/awards/2021-energy-and-environment-award-winners.

CalPortland is a major producer of cement, ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, concrete products and asphalt in the western United States and Canada. It remains a leader in the industry through its commitment to quality, safety, customer service, technical excellence, and environmental leadership.

CalPortland is also a charter member of the Northwest Cement Council.