National Cement doubles flagship mill capacity, calms CO2 emissions factor

Executives of National Cement Company of Alabama Inc., parent National Cement Company Inc., and ultimate parent Vicat Group, Paris, staged a late-July dedication of a new production line at their Ragland, Ala. plant. A Kiln 2 ribbon cutting capped a two-year, $300 million project that brings annual Ragland capacity above 2 million short tons and assures a sharp reduction in…

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Breakthrough Binder

Investors targeting reduction of the carbon dioxide emissions factor in portland cement and concrete have focused on methods capturing, using or storing the greenhouse gas, plus new means of generating the high temperatures fossil fuel-fired cement kilns need to convert limestone and other raw feeds to clinker. A Longmont, Colo. startup has garnered backing for technology paving a different path…

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Investors steer Prometheus Materials’ microalgae-derived binder to market

Sources: Prometheus Materials, Boulder, Colo.; CP staff Prometheus Materials has closed an $8 million initial venture capital funding round to support commercialization of precast elements and a ready mixed material designed with a bio-cement similar to the binder coral and oysters use to form reefs and shells. When mixed with sand and gravel or stone, the bio-cement offers what the…

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LafargeHolcim, Lafarge Canada spotlight low-carbon mix designs

Traditionally carbon intensive, the cement industry is seeing a significant change in how specifiers, architects and customers are looking at building materials through the lens of environmental impact. In response to demand for products with a lower carbon footprint, Lafarge and LafargeHolcim concrete operations in Canada and the United States have partnered to raise awareness that environmentally-friendly, cement-based products are…

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Low carbon LC3 binder steers Sika’s next admixture chapter

The Swiss parent company of New Jersey-based Sika Corp. will tailor a new family of concrete admixtures and cement additives around the chemistry and behavior of an emerging binder known as LC3, or Limestone Calcined Clay Cement. Through work with Sika AG and peers, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology officials view the material as a means of carbon footprint reduction…

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Lehigh Cement sets new watermark for clinker + limestone + ash blends

Lehigh Hanson Inc. is extending its recently launched, carbon-wise EcoCem portland-limestone cement series with EcoCem PLUS, milled at the Lehigh Cement Edmonton Plant and Terminal and debuting in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Finished by inter-grinding cement clinker, fly ash, limestone and gypsum, the material outperforms traditional CSA Group-grade (High Sulphate Limestone blend) HSLb-20F powder in resisting sulphate attack, common in…

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Mineralized aggregate developer Blue Planet secures $10M commitment

Sources: Blue Planet Systems Corp., Los Gatos, Calif.; CP staff A $10 million funding round positions Blue Planet to advance a carbon capture and utilization system netting concrete-grade synthetic limestone. The Silicon Valley company is approaching commercialization of a process that converts diluted carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-powered electricity generating stations, cement or steel mills, and petroleum refineries to carbonate…

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Volvo programs autonomous dump truck as ‘limestone transport solution’

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Volvo Trucks North America parent, Volvo Truck Corp. of Sweden, recently entered an agreement to equip Norway limestone producer Brønnøy Kalk AS with six dump body-bearing FH cabover models programmed for driverless operation. Following individual vehicle demonstrations last year, the fleet will be deployed in 2019 to haul rock from underground mine to crusher—navigating a three-mile tunnel and outdoor road route at a wheel loader operator’s direction.

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Volvo, limestone producer test autonomous on/off-highway truck

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Sources: Volvo Truck Corp., Goteborg, Sweden; CP staff

Volvo Trucks North America’s European parent has entered an agreement to equip Norway limestone producer Brønnøy Kalk AS with six dump body-bearing Volvo FH cabover models programmed for driverless operation. Following individual vehicle demonstrations this year, the fleet will be deployed in 2019 to haul rock from underground mine to crusher, navigating a three-mile route of tunnels and outdoor roads at the direction of a wheel loader operator. 

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Lehigh earmarks $600M for Indiana mill modernization, rail upgrade

Sources: Lehigh Hanson Inc., Irving, Texas; CP staff

Lehigh Hanson’s most ambitious undertaking to date entails a four-year, $600 million-plus modernization and expansion of the Lehigh Cement Co. Mitchell plant, aimed at increasing capacity from present 662,038 metric-ton-per-year level; lowering energy usage and emissions per ton of finished cement; and, continuing to leverage the southern Indiana site’s limestone riches.

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