Lafarge has completed a 10-day, 10,000-ton trial for Aether, a new generation clinker chemically formulated to reduce carbon emissions associated with traditional production methods, and poised for 2014 commercialization.
Measured against conventional portland cement composition and processing, Lafarge officials note, Aether could equate to a 25-30 percent CO2 emissions reduction due to reduced limestone content in the kiln raw feed; lower kiln temperature requirements; and, easier grinding characteristics, hence lower (clinker) ball mill energy consumption.
Lafarge conducted the trial at its Le Teil, France, cement mill. Based on findings from it and several years’ research and development, Aether powders exhibit similar properties to conventional portland cements and, with minor process adjustments, can be produced in existing mills. The R&D has been backed by the European Union's LIFE+ Programme, a financial instrument to support environmental projects. Commercialization of Aether would contribute to Lafarge Group's Sustainability Ambitions 2020 goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 33 percent.