The LEILAC pilot plant

Calix Limited has been operating the technology for over two years at commercial scale at its Bacchus Marsh facility in Victoria on magnesite feed-stocks. However, the temperature necessary to process limestone for the lime and cement industries is significantly higher.


LEILAC will develop, build and operate a pilot plant to assess not only whether Direct Separation calcining technology can work at these higher temperatures, but also  capture over 95 percent of the process CO2 emissions (which accounts for the majority of the CO2 emissions) from both industries without significant energy or capital penalty.


Following a funding award from the EU as part of Horizon 2020, an EU research and innovation programme, the project started in 2016 and will run for five years.

In October 2016 the project passed its pre-FEED study. A final investment decision was taken in mid-2017. The pilot was completed on time and under budget in early 2019.

The pilot will be built at the HeidelbergCement plant in Lixhe, Belgium, to undertake extensive test runs. The objective is to run the high temperature Direct Separation Calciner pilot unit for two years during which it will undergo extensive testing in a standard operational environment, at a feed rate capacity of 240 tonnes per day of raw meal for cement production and 200 tonnes ground limestone respectively. The fundamental research on the process demands and performance aims to demonstrate that the technology works sufficiently to begin scale-up planning. The project’s results will be shared widely through ongoing publications, conferences and this website.


To accelerate further development, LEILAC will deliver a techno-economic roadmap, and comprehensive knowledge sharing activities including a visitor centre at the pilot. In order to reach the required 80% emissions reductions by 2050, CCS will need to be applied to a vast majority of cement and lime kilns, depending on the achievemnts of the other CO2 reducing initiatives mentioned before. 


LEILAC is uniquely placed to demonstrate a solid technology to support Europe to achieve these targets in a timely, effective and efficient manner. (See the FAQ for more information).


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This project has received € 12m of funding from Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation of the European Union under the grant agreement No 654465.