Press Releases

09Aug 2017
JK Lakshmi grinding unit: Jhajjar, Haryana, INDIA

JK Lakshmi grinding unit: Jhajjar, Haryana, INDIA

LC3 project is pleased to announce a new collaboration between The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd..

This collaborative effort has made it possible the first full-scale trial production of a new cement known as Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3) and at the same time developed a new environment friendly additive for concrete that makes it easier to produce high performance concrete at a lower cost.

Last year, JK Lakshmi became the first cement company in the world to carry out a full-scale plant trial production of the cement. The cement was produced at the Jhajjhar unit of the company. Trial applications of the cement have shown that it can reduce as much as 30% CO2 emissions and 20% energy consumption in cement production. Still, the performance of the concrete produced using this cement exceeds those using cements commercially available today in most aspects. The production is also one of the first such collaborations between the cement industry and academia to develop mainstream products. Full-scale trial applications of this cement have shown that it can be effortlessly introduced without any changes to the existing construction practices.Trials of the cement in the field and in ready-mix concrete plants have yielded excellent results.

Very importantly, the collaboration on LC3 led to the partners exploring several new fronts where technological developments could significantly impact sustainability, quality and costs. One such result is a new concrete additive that can be used to increase strength of concrete and to improve its durability. The additive reduces the requirement of energy-intensive and expensive cement in the concrete, thereby reducing construction cost and achieving as much as 20% increase in strength. It is foreseen that this product will find usage in high-performance applications like water-proofing, high strength concrete, self-compacting concrete, etc.
At the same time, it promises to reduce the cost of more common applications like masonry construction, wall plaster, road pavers, and walling blocks. The effort is in line with the Government initiative to provide housing to all by 2022 at a reasonable cost and environmental impact.

Monitoring of production at JK Lakshmi facilities

Monitoring of production at JK Lakshmi facilities

JK Lakshmi Cements Ltd.
“The challenge of continuing to develop, without irreversibly harming the environment and affecting the future generations, can only be addressed through innovative thinking. I am confident that this collaboration will develop a synergy between the experience and knowledge of the industry and the ability of the young minds at our research institutes to innovate, to develop solutions that will allow India to continue developing without harming its future prospects.”

Mr. S. K. Wali, wholetime Director, JK Lakshmi Cements.

The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (LC3 project representative in India)
“Direct interaction with the industry will help us to utilise the great potential in our research institutes for the development of technologies that are relevant to our society. This will also ensure a more practical and hands-on training for the students and researchers, instead of rote learning”.

Dr. Shashank Bishnoi, IIT Delhi.

30Oct 2015

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

LC3: Of Chocolate & Rum

Although many trendy bars now serve chocolate mojitos, a Swiss and Cuban mix is not obvious. Yet, when it comes to cement, Swiss, Cuban and Indian scientists have tackled one of the world’s lesser known but biggest challenges.

As countries develop, demand for housing and infrastructure increases. Concrete is by far the most commonly used construction material to meet these needs, and cement is required to make concrete. As the Cuban economy reforms, demand for construction materials is growing extremely fast; demand for cement is expected to grow by over 70% over the next 3 years. Cuba currently does not have the production capacity in place to sustain that growth. Furthermore, cement production is carbon and resource intensive. One of Cuba’s challenges is to find ways of producing more cement with existing clinker production capacity, to meet growing demand with a reduced environmental impact.

Prof. Fernando Martirena Hernández, leader of the Cuban LC3 team said: “The challenge of meeting the sudden increase in cement demand gives Cuba the unique opportunity of choosing a low carbon path towards development through the introduction of LC3 at a large scale, as the only viable option in the very short term. In the mid to long term, LC3 could also allow Cuba to preserve valuable resources whilst yet meeting development needs”.

The answer came from a long standing cooperation between the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Universidad Central de las Villas in Cuba. A unique mix between fundamental material science and hands on field tests have shown that abundantly available low grade kaolin clay could be used as an alternative, low carbon, raw material. The initial results from the field trials in Cuba were confirmed by a broader project that involved a range of research and development organisations in India.

LC3, as this new cement came to be known, makes it possible to nearly double the quantity of cement produced from the same quantity of limestone by substituting a large portion of clinker (an intermediary material made by heating limestone at very high temperatures) with calcined clay.

Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3) has the potential to reduce CO2 emission by 20-30% compared to traditional cement; a major reduction considering that cement accounts for 5-8% of today’s manmade emissions.

LC3 is a low-carbon and low-cost cement that delivers similar or even superior performance properties compared to Portland cement. The blend can be easily manufactured in existing production lines, requiring only minor capital investments.

“The potential impact of the LC3 project is very significant. After water, concrete is the most used material in the world. Any emissions reduction will have a substantial impact”, explains Professor Scrivener who heads the LC3 project. “LC3 can become an essential construction material, especially in fast-growing emerging economies where minimising environmental impact and resource depletion are a top priority”. It is estimated that using LC3 instead of regular cement can save up to 500 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050 (equivalent to the emission of the UK or Canada). “If we want to advance the sustainability of concrete – its cost, availability and environmental footprint – we have to act before demand increases exponentially”, says Scrivener.

Industrial scale pilot projects were implemented in Cuba and India, and in both countries several structures were successfully built using the cement. Cuba will be the first country where LC3 will be produced at a commercial scale. It will enable to meet growing demand without large capital investments and whilst lowering the impact on the environment.

A chocolate mojito with a nice twist.


For more Information,
please contact:

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Mr. Rob Fielding
Tel: +41 21 693 10 28
robert.fielding@epfl.ch

Universidad Central de las Villas
Facultad de Construcciones/Faculty of Constructions
José Fernando Martirena Hernández (Prof. Dr.Sc. Ing.)
Tel: +53 42 205872 ext 102
F.Martirena@enet.cu

Click the images below to download the English version or the Spanish version of the Press Release.

LC3-ForImmediateRelease_PressReleaseLC3-ForImmediateRelease_PressRelease-SPANISH

 

22Sep 2014

A new type of cement is currently being tested on a large scale in India. Known as LC3, this new blend substitutes up to half of the carbon intensive materials traditionally used to make cement in India

A consortium of researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne together with research and application partners from the Indian Institutes of Technologies of Delhi, Bombay and Madras as well as Technology and Action For Rural Advancement (TARA), New Delhi in partnership with universities in Cuba and Brazil have managed to double the quantity of cement produced from the same quantity of limestone by substituting a large portion of clinker (an intermediary material made by heating limestone at very high temperatures) with calcined clay. Limestone Calcined Clay Cement, or LC3, has the potential to generate 20-30% less CO2 emissions compared to traditional cement; a major reduction considering that cement accounts for 5-8% of today’s manmade emissions.

Materials such as slag and fly ash are already used worldwide to decrease the ratio of clinker needed to manufacture cement. However, these materials are not always available locally and their limited supply will not be able to meet the rapidly increasing demand for cement.

Global cement demand will double by 2050. By then, India will surpass China as the largest producer yet , India’s quarries are estimated to provide limestone for only 50-60 years more. LC3 can provide a long-term sustainable solution because it can use low grade kaolin clays, unsuitable for most industries and largely available in many parts of the word, including India”, explained Professor Karen Scrivener, LC3 project leader at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

LC3 is a low carbon and low cost cement that delivers similar or even superior performance properties compared to Portland cement. The blend can be easily manufactured in existing production lines, requiring only minor capital investments.

The potential impact of the LC3 project is very significant. After water, concrete is the most used material in the world. Any emissions reduction will have a substantial impact”, explains Professor Scrivener who heads the LC3 project. “LC3 can become an essential construction material, especially in fast-growing emerging economies where minimising environmental impact and resource depletion are a top priority”. It is estimated that using LC3 instead of regular cement can save up to 500 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050. “If we want to advance the sustainability of concrete – its cost, availability and environmental footprint – we have to act before demand increases exponentially”, says Scrivener.

India is the first country where LC3 is being tested, both in laboratory and in the field, on a large scale. Industrial scale pilot projects were implemented in Cuba and India and in both countries several structures were successfully built using the cement. The technology has generated also interest from leading cement and construction materials companies in Cuba, Europe, India, Thailand, South Africa, China and Brazil. India was selected for the size of its market and its growth potential, the wide availability of kaolin clays and the commitment of the Indian government to reduce CO2 emissions.

An LC3 project meeting will take place on 23 September at the Habitat Centre in Delhi, India, to define the next steps of the pilot phase.

Limestone Calcined Clay Cement – LC3 Project: This project is managed by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, in collaboration with an international team of researchers from the University of Las Villas, Cuba, three prominent Indian Institutes of Technology; IIT Delhi, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay and technology incubation partner, Technology and Action For Rural Advancement, New Delhi with support from Dr. Anjan Kumar Chatterjee and various prominent cement companies in India.

After a preliminary study and a successful industrial pilot phase in Cuba, the LC3 consortium is testing the low carbon cement technology in India before it is introduced internationally. Initial field trials in India have shown promising results with equivalent or even improved results compared to traditional pozzolanic cements.

03Jun 2014

An EPFL-led consortium is developing a new blend of cement that promises to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete by up to 40%. Now it has received financial backing from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to scale up its efforts.

Cement production is responsible for almost ten percent of human CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, it is one of the most sustainable construction materials. Now, an EPFL-led consortium has received backing from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to speed up the development and testing of a new blend of low-carbon cement. Elaborated with partners from the Indian Institutes of Technology and from universities in Cuba and Brazil, this new blend substitutes up to half of the usual Portland cement used to make concrete with highly abundant clay and limestone, promising to reduce cement-related CO2 emissions by up to 40%. Applied globally, it could help bring down future global CO2 emissions by several percent.

Substituting a fraction of the Portland cement used to make concrete is a well-established way to cut emissions – understandably so, considering that the production of each ton of cement releases up to 800kg of CO2. However, alternative materials that allow substituting a large fraction of cement have been hard to find. Materials that are commonly used today – slag from the steel industry or fly ash from coal power plants are two examples – are not available in large enough quantities to keep up with demand.

Synergistic chemistry
As Karen Scrivener, the principle investigator of the project, explains, the strength of the combination of calcined clay and ground limestone, which the researchers call LC3 for Limestone Calcined Clay Cement, lies in its chemistry. When used together, the aluminates from the calcined clay interact with the calcium carbonates from the limestone, leading to a less porous, and therefore stronger, cement paste. While in the past, these materials have been used individually to replace a small fraction of the cement, together, they can replace up to half without altering the performance of the final product.

Thanks to partnerships with industrial and governmental partners, the researchers hope to see LC3 become the new gold standard of low-carbon cement, produced by all major cement companies. Two industrial scale pilot projects in India and Cuba have already emphatically demonstrated the robustness of their method and the ease with which it can be integrated into existing cement production lines. In the next phase of the project, larger-scale production tests are scheduled with industrial partners.

LC3 is designed to meet the needs of both industry and users. It was developed in close collaboration with industrial partners and designed to integrate into existing cement production lines. Clay and limestone are available en masse in quarries around the world. And consumers will be able to use it the same way they use ordinary Portland cement today.

Meeting growing demand
Time is of the essence, according to Karen Scrivener, who heads EPFL’s Construction Materials Laboratory. With global demand for cement to double by 2050, driven by growing demand in emerging economies, such as India, China, and Brazil, the need for low-carbon cement is becoming more and more pressing. The just over 4 million Swiss francs in funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will enable EPFL and its partners to do the necessary research and testing for the introduction and standardization of LC3, so that it makes it to the market as quickly as possible. “If we want to have a real impact on the sustainability of concrete – its cost, its availability, and its environmental footprint – we have to act before demand explodes in the emerging and developing world.

The SDC support comes through its Global Program on Climate Change (GPCC).