US: A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated an electrochemical process to make clinker in a laboratory. A paper on the work by Yet-Ming Chiang, the Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, with postdoctoral researcher Leah Ellis, graduate student Andres Badel and others has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
In the new process, pulverised limestone is dissolved in acid at one electrode in an electrolyser and carbon dioxide (CO2) is released in a pure, concentrated stream. Lime is precipitated out as a solid at the other electrode. The lime can then be processed in another step to produce clinker.
Benefits of the new process include potentially substituting fossil fuels with electricity supplied from renewable sources and the production of a pure source of CO2 that could be captured with less or no scrubbing compared to conventional clinker production.