Lafarge has successfully completed an industrial trial for Aether®, its new generation clinker formulated for lower carbon cements.
The trial mobilized a team of around 100 people over a 10-day period at the Group's plant in Le Teil, France. It allowed the production of 10,000 tons of Aether® clinker, confirming the feasibility of industrial-scale production using traditional raw materials. The launch of the first Aether® products is planned for 2014.
Aether®, a new clinker formulation to reduce the carbon footprint of cement
The result of several years of research by Lafarge R&D teams, Aether® is a new generation clinker, the basic component of cement. Aether® cements offer similar properties to ordinary Portland Cement and can be produced in traditional cement plants after minor process adjustments, for a lower overall environmental footprint.
Aether® is a new chemical composition for clinker which should allow a 25 to 30% reduction in CO2 emissions, thanks to:
- reduced limestone content in the raw mix,
- a lower temperature (~1300°C) during the burning process,
- easier grinding, using less energy.
This development project has received the support of the European Union as part of its LIFE+ Programme, a financial instrument to support environmental projects.
Lafarge has been working to reduce its CO2 emissions for over 20 years, using alternative fuels, cementitious additives and improving energy efficiency at its plants. Project Aether shows Lafarge's determination to go even further in reducing its CO2 emissions. This project will contribute to the Group's objective to reduce these emissions by 33% per ton of cement by 2020, as part of its Sustainability Ambitions 2020.
Notes to editors: Innovation, a strategic priority
Located in 64 countries with 68,000 employees, Lafarge is a world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates & Concrete businesses. In 2011, Lafarge posted sales of 15.3 billion euros.
Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, in order to develop materials to respond to customer needs, but also breakthrough solutions to meet tomorrow's challenges. Lafarge devotes 130 million euros to innovation each year, half of which goes towards research into reducing environmental footprint.